Friday, November 26, 2010

Share CHRISTmas

It’s truly more blessed to give than to receive. In fact I live to give. I’m most thankful that my husband is kind and allows me to give. This morning the alarm went off at 3:00 am for Kent and me to rise and shine and give God some glory! Redonia joined us in our Black Friday quest. At 4:00 am Kent dropped Redonia and me at Target. He then went to Whataburger to get Redonia her favorite bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit with the bacon crispy (like her Popsie). We had so much fun filling our cart with gifts for kids. We purchased quite a few gifts for some children who ride our buses to Sunday School. Then we purchased gifts for nieces and nephews. The next stop was Wal-Mart to purchase a few more gifts for the kids.

Before taking Redonia to her last stop of the morning we opted to use our coupons for free mochas at McDonalds and Redonia decided to get another biscuit. While in line I began to talk with an elderly man. I’ve seen the gentleman riding his bike around town for 20 years. It’s obvious he has a few handicaps; however, he has such a positive outlook on life. I felt a little benevolent and felt I should purchase his breakfast. Unfortunately I over rode my conscience and missed my blessing. While sitting across the restaurant from him I observed him striking up conversations with anyone who would listen. He is such a pleasant person. I sat quietly and endeavored to fight back tears. Finally I lost the battle as tears gushed over my lids. I shared my regrets with my family.

As I sat and reflected on my emotions I discovered again the true meaning of Christmas. It isn’t about me rather it’s about giving unselfishly of me. The purchase was small – a senior coffee and a sausage biscuit from the dollar menu. I’m certain he could afford the purchase but maybe he simply needed someone to show him kindness. Maybe I was the one needing to listen to the still quite voice that I recognize so well.

I have vowed this will be the best Christmas season, ever. It proves to be a very busy season, however, I will not be too busy to entertain angels unaware nor will I be too busy to spend time with those I love. Christmas is in my heart and I pray I don’t keep it there. I want to spread Christmas everywhere with everyone.

May we all share CHRISTmas…Remember He IS the reason! If He being love is in us He will manifest Himself through us.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Africa Trip

Kent and I were blessed to spend two weeks in Africa. While most of our time was in Zimbabwe we did get to enjoy a couple of days in Johannesburg South Africa, too.

We saw hundreds and hundreds of elephants. What massive animals! One of the coolest animals in the kingdom is the giraffe. I thought it was especially awesome watching the tall giraffe separate his legs as if he were doing the splits to lower his tall body enough to drink water from the watering holes. Baboons and monkeys were everywhere! One of the hotels warned us to keep the doors and windows closed to ensure we didn't have special guests - the baboons. We saw a herd of more than 200 Water Buffalo's. I have a list of more than 20 animals we saw in the wild. I was disappointed that we didn't see any of the big African cats.

More impressive than the animal kingdom was God's kingdom - The UPC of Zimbabwe. Our first Sunday Kent preached in a regional evangelistic service. I'm certain 15 or 20 people received the Holy Ghost. Several were baptised as well. Vicki and I were privileged to be apart of a children's crusade. Later that week I was the guest speaker at the National Ladies Conference. I was truly blessed! Zimbabwe is blessed with wonderful leaders and pastor's and wives. I felt I made some friends for life. Hopefully this week I can create a slide show of our trip.

Thanks Vicki and Tremayne for being wonderful tour guides and hosts!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Softening Salt (Words)

A few weeks ago my husband taught an incredible lesson in our Wednesday night Bible Study. He entitled his lesson, “When to Keep Your Mouth Shut”. What a powerful lesson! Since that time I have dwelt on the lesson. I’ve endeavored to do a better job.

This morning I woke up with Colossians 4:6 pounding in my spirit.
The King James Version: Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

The Amplified Bible: Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you].

The New International Version: Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

The Message: Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don't miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.

As I began to read the various translations two words began to stick out to me grace(gracious) and salt. Although salt is most commonly thought of as a product to make bland foods tastier, less than 5% of salt is used for that purpose. Other purposes are for removing snow and ices from roads to prevent hazardous conditions, softening water, preserving food, and stabilizing soil for construction. About 70% is used in the chemical industry as a source of chlorine. In the form of chlorine salt is used to purify water, sterilization, as a disinfectant and bleaching agent.

Salt has always been an important commodity. Today salt is inexpensive but that wasn't always the case. Salt can be used to preserve foods. The human body requires salt. Hence, it has been an extremely valuable commodity throughout time. In early times Roman soldiers received a salt allowance as part of their pay.

A favorite scripture in thinking about our words or conversation is Proverbs 15:1.

King James Version: A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

New International Version: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

The Amplified Bible: A SOFT answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.

The Message: A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.

Just as salt softens, cleans, enhances flavor, and reduce chances for tragedy so should a Christian’s words. We should be gracious – tactful, delicate, showing kindness, compassion and mercy.

Matthew 5:13 admonishes that we are the salt of the earth.

The Amplified Bible: You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.

New International Version: You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

The Message: Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

King James Version: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

A man can never be separated from his words and actions. We have a purpose and without it we are worthless! Let’s flavor, soften, cleanse, and preserve others by allowing our words and actions to draw others to the Lord.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thoughts on Leadership

Leaders are visionaries, risk takers, and mentors serving optimistically with persistence and passion. Leaders think dimensionally are flexible and willing to continue learning. A leader is willing to change the status quo creating new opportunities yet not seeking change for change sake. A leader will remain focused and not be deterred while building relationships and giving to the community. Leaders must be committed to improvement even when substantial change is required.

An improving leadership team recognizes change keeps things fresh recognizing non leaders often don’t deal well with change. Turmoil is inevitable. Some are effective in thinking of ways to change but find the turmoil too uncomfortable or draining to follow thru. Skeptics and naysayers will always exist. Focus should not be given to the loud critics rather those willing to remain team players laying aside personal desires.

Effectiveness is critical in leadership. Some find it difficult to admit something is non-effective or nonproducing. However, if an idea fails or inadequately produces it should be discontinued without fear of hurting feelings. Often rather than eliminating something it is more comfortable to simply reduce the plan and add new plans. Maintaining ineffective activities are energy draining and hinder greater things being accomplished. Analyzing expenditures and balancing gain against cost is helpful, too. We are involved in this process and are amazed at the results. Recently, we decided to spend more money on web design, internet advertising, and banners moving away from costly ineffective yellow page advertising. Leaders must be willing to instill excitement and move forward.

Flexibility of a leader includes willingness to move within the framework of the structure. A leader must be willing to do what is best for reaching the goal of the team rather than being in control of every situation. Often age and time of involvement in a particular area diminishes a leader’s effectiveness. This does not mean the person should not remain a church leader rather it is time to serve in another capacity. Normally a student pastor is effective in his 20’s and 30’s yet in his 40’s the energy to maintain the expectations of a younger generation is more difficult. It doesn’t mean the person is no longer a leader rather it means it is time for a leadership shift. By making room for younger leaders the leadership team broadens. Often fear of being out of the loop or lack of involvement causes a person to want to remain in control of areas that should actually be released. Releasing control does not release leadership from the individual. Rather the leader should involve in other areas of the structure. Mario Andretti stated, “If you think you’re always in control, then you’re not going fast enough.” Change is exhilarating, but unsettling. Change produces rapid growth and is more satisfying than a slow methodical manner.

Finally, optimism makes risk taking more comfortable. Planning for success is fulfilling. Look for victories, even small ones. Victories lift spirits and gives faith for better days ahead. Regardless if a leader’s opti­mism is shaken he must still speak positively. Fearlessness or the appearance of is another asset in achieving change. Leadership is about discerning what should and should not be changed and accomplishing it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Birds and Friendships

Amos 3:3 (Amp) Do two walk together except they make an appointment and have agreed?

A favorite saying when Mom was rearing each of her children was “Birds of a feather flock together”. She tried to instill in us the importance of selecting our friends knowing we would eventually become them. She knew that our reputation would become our friends by association. Basically, Mom’s quote was an effort to safe guard.

Recently Mom posted something similar on Facebook. It created quite a dialogue. Some felt Mom was rude, uncaring, or prejudiced against people who choose to not live a life of holiness. I grew frustrated because someone told Mom she wasn’t the sweet person she knew Mom to be. I endeavored to carefully explain Mom has lived this principle my entire life. The person felt it an unchristian approach. Mom does not refer to ‘flocking or friending’ in regards to outreach rather those who we share close friendly relationships. In fact this is a very scriptural principle based on Amos 3:3. Additionally, this is a very civic principle. If you are with persons vandalizing and the group is caught everyone is guilty. If you are with persons doing drugs all are guilty if an arrest is made.

I have many ‘friends’ who do not live the way I live nor believe the way I believe. But those who are my closest, best friends, bff, or how you may describe the person will have much in common. Recently, I was asked why is it when people leave a congregation they began to talk or befriend others who have left the congregation when previously they weren’t friends are didn’t talk. We have pastored for almost 20 years. Through the years there have been those who have left and I have noticed the conclusion drawn by my friend is often true. This has not only happened in regards to CUPC but in two other churches I’ve been strongly associated with. Additionally, I have seen it via Facebook from other churches. In this setting of forming friendships or groups the people are trying to connect to a part of their life. The common ground is the church they attended.

Ministers & wives are friends with other ministers & wives. Last week Trent and Calah drove to Beaumont to spend time with a young minister & wife. This week we had some ministry friends traveling thru Texas from Kansas enroute to Louisiana. They decided to stay the night in Conroe so we could spend a few hours together.

Recently I have decided to challenge our youth to do more. In so doing I began to think those who serve tend to be friends with others who serve and those who become discouraged hang with other discouraged teens.

Of late I have gone through a few difficult times. I am certain I have been an emotional strain on some dear friends who have kept me encouraged. However, our relationship will not last if I am always taking from my friends and not depositing something into the relationship. This challenges my thinking. If I realize I can weaken my friends then I must acknowledge friends can weaken me.

What kind of persons will I associate? Those who gossip, complain, cause disunity, and are judgmental or will I be with those who are faith filled, friendly, positive, and Christ like? Sometimes a close look at our friends reveals who we are. True friendships are not casual. Rather I believe our friendships are as Amos 3:3 suggests planned because we have made an appointment and agree otherwise the friendship would not exist.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Find Strength by Counting Blessings

Often schedules are cluttered, life is busy and problems are present. Most lead this type life on a consistent basis. During such times it is easy to fail to count our blessings. I do not want to become like the people the Psalmist wrote about in Psalm 106:21(NIV) "They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt." I do not want to forget His saving grace nor the great things He has accomplished in my life.

Today I want to be still and honestly reflect God’s goodness, blessings, and mercy. During busy times I find it necessary to list my daily plans and chores. This morning I have committed that in future cluttered and difficult days I will list a few of His ‘wonders’. This day I will notice the abundance of God in my life. Psalm 66:5 (Msg) “Take a good look at God's wonders—they'll take your breath away. He converted sea to dry land; travelers crossed the river on foot. Now isn't that cause for a song?” No, I haven’t crossed a river on foot but God has performed many other miracles for me. He always takes good care of me. Yes, it is cause for a song!

Psalm 71:15 (NIV) "My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure." If we talk about the good things of the Lord rather than dwelling on things we may face; joy, strength, and happiness will abound. Be strengthened in the Lord today!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Finishing Strong

1 Corinthians 9:24 (MSG) You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally.

In the game of life as well as serving the Lord it is not how we start the race but how we finish that matters. There are seasons of life where everything goes right. We are on a winning streak, make good choices, make right decisions, and take wise steps. However, this season does not last forever. Eventually seasons change and we struggle. Perhaps we have problems within our families. Injury or offense comes. We get injured by a bad deal ,a harsh word, or the loss of a career. Instead of pressing forward toward the prize, we are tempted to give up.

Paul encourages us not to give up or give in but to finish the race. In other words, it is not how strong we start, but how strong we finish. It is not how a marriage or family began; it is how strong our relationships grow. It is not who or what may hinder, bring us down, or when we messed up. It’s about pressing on and winning the prize. However, in order to win the prize we must finish the race we began.

Living for the Lord everybody wins. It is different than earthly games where only one person or one team can win the prize. I Corinthians 9:24 explains “There are many runners but only one prize.” In the Christian race all may obtain the prize which is the crown of life. We are chosen to be on God’s team – the winning team. As children of God, it doesn’t matter how many times we get knocked down. We can still finish the race as strong winners

Life is going to bring us down from time to time. The Bible says because we live in a fallen world, we should expect adversity. If you are on a winning streak right now; look out! Adversity may soon be running behind you. It takes a made up mind to stay in the ‘game’. After being knocked down you may need to forgive someone who has hurt you or prevented you from playing well. Stay focused on the Word it adds power and endurance to finish.

Get rid of weights which will hinder your ability to finish:
Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (NIV)
Make up your mind to persevere:
Acts 20:24, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.” (NIV)
Keep pressing, you are going to make it:
Philippians 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


"Imagine a person who lives well, treating others fairly, keeping good relationships…doesn't live by impulse and greed, doesn't treat one person better than another, but lives by my statutes and faithfully honors and obeys my laws." Ezekiel 18:5 (MSG)

After taking a few days to write my previous post on “Friendships” one word began to dance in my thoughts – ‘impulse’. Our senses bombard us to become impulsive. At one point or another everyone has been impulsive. We want to look right, enjoy certain smells, taste something particular, enjoy how something makes us feel, and enjoy hearing compliments. These 5 senses many times are unbridled causing us to make poor impulsive decisions.

Ladies, how many times have you at the last minute decided to purchase a new outfit because you had nothing to wear that looked right? Better yet, shopping with a friend not needing to spend money a friend told you how beautiful you looked in an outfit you tried on for fun; you loved what you heard and gave in to impulsive spending. As a result the item still hangs in your closet with the tags because it is not your style. Maybe you were attending a wedding or special event and ‘needed’ a new outfit. Regardless that you couldn’t find what you really liked you settled not really liking the purchase. The money was a waste because you never wore the outfit again. Possibly a friend got a new gadget and you decided you ‘needed’ one, too.

Often the same impulsive nature exists in our spiritual lives. Many pray in a crisis or run to church when there is a problem, yet others stay home and hide during a problem. Impulse prevails for the moment rather than a consistent walk with God. Decisions are made impulsively that must be lived with. Life is not like a new gadget, clothing article, or car. It can’t be put sold on Ebay, Craigslist, or a garage sale. In fact it can’t be traded with a friend. An impulsive nature in spending, habits, hobbies, and friends uncontrolled will definitely began to form our character. It is impossible to separate an impulsive physical nature with an impulsive spiritual nature

Well planned decisions add balance and consistency to our daily lives. Decisions are made with a plan to execute the goal. Every decision may not be easy, however regret or frustration will not exist and a strong mind to accomplish will prevail. We can give God what He desires of us and not just a quick impulsive prayer or Christian service. I want to live by His statues and faithfully honor and obey Him as Ezekiel 18:5 suggests.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thoughts on Friendships

Friendship, a complex word used to describe relationships ranging from mere associations to very intimate or close relations is intriguing. While marriage relationships, business relationships, and even some family relationships have fallen apart; a true friendship will last forever.

It is impossible to change friends abruptly, forge deep relationships quickly, maintain a friendship that lacks loyalty, or embrace someone without knowing them. Many times people seem inconsistent or always involved with a current fad or hobby trying to connect with someone they call “friend”. While everyone is influenced somewhat by those we associate others seem greater influenced. Some change hobbies or interests, purchase or decorate homes like friends, acquire similar vehicles, dress similarly, or fashion hair styles to their ‘friends’. Simply, a person involved in this confusion is really not a friend rather endeavoring to satisfy an inner longing never satisfied with things, hobbies, people, or careers. These persons are disastrous or dangerous full of inner turmoil. The threat that is created by this type individual is more a self destruction or a threat to their immediate family members. Some may try to argue the person is not a leader rather a follower. Another may argue “I’ve always wanted to do what I’m doing and I’m finally in a setting allowing me to be the person I’ve always been”. However, I contend it is impossible to vacillate quickly without the possibility of self destruction.

A short time ago I discussed with someone the difference of a true friendship and a mere association. I explained my perception of a relationship this individual had was a relationship built around an association created by location rather than a “friendship”. One may ask, “How did you base your opinion?” Simply, I recognized one of the persons in the friendship was simply involved due to location and nothing more. While the person I was endeavoring to help had a true feeling of friendship toward the other person it proved difficult for him to comprehend my feelings. Time, however, has proven my point. The friendship has not remained loyal or committed.

Regardless if a person is of the generation preferring the hymn "What a Friend We have in Jesus" or the praise and worship chorus "I am a Friend of God" hopefully we recognize the true meaning of ‘friend’ not confusing it with an association or casual relationship. Though distance and life separates friends; friends will always remain friends. Likewise, nothing should ever separate us from Him. Today, I will endeavor to strengthen my vertical relationship so every horizontal relationship will be correct.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My World

After several pleas for me to blog here goes.....

I've got much I'd like to say. Much has been in my thoughts and heart. I just haven't slowed down long enough to organize my thoughts. What a pitiful excuse, huh? Actually, it's the truth.

Each January I establish personal goals. Some years the list is long and very detailed other years it is much shorter. This year I simply put three goals on my list. Little did I realize the amount of effort and prayer that would go into ensuring I accomplish my short list. Following is my 2010 Goals.doc

increased prayer for my children
aggressive in teaching/training
aggressive in studying/preparation

The goals were formulated with prayer and meditation. I wanted to write meaningful things that I truly would work to accomplish. Things that would help me yet have a positive effect on others.

First, let me say when you make a STRONG determination to commit things to God and see His will accomplished expect opposition. Later in January we hit our first obstacle. It was quite a challenge but we made it through. Then our family attended Because of the Times in Alexandria and were blessed. We fight battles and win victories as a family. Surely, victories were gained at BOTT.

In the Spring I went through a major surgery. A few weeks into the recovery I questioned if I had done the right thing by going thru the surgery. Later I realized God had ordered my steps. The recovery process allowed alone time at home to reflect on God. During this time I truly feel I grew closer to Him. Through the first quarter of the year the church continued to grow and the ministries of the church strengthened.

One Thursday morning in late May I was awakened by a God dream. At the time it felt more of a nightmare. Might I add every Mom's nightmare yet I knew it was from God. I dreamed my beautiful unwed daughter was with child. I lay still in bed weeping and talking with God until Kent awoke. I apprised him and immediately made my way to our daughter's room. I told her the dream and she began to weep telling me her fear. This began the longest weekend of my life. We went that afternoon to the doctor only to get a positive test. We shared the news with our parents and siblings immediately. We found great love and support. We had some ministry friends to come to our home and pray with us and our three children. Friday and Saturday we took time telling the ministers and church board. Then on Sunday night Kent told our entire congregation with our family sitting on the front pew. I can't explain the great amount of love and support we gained from our church family. The ONLY negative remarks we have received are from a few persons who no longer worship at CUPC.

The first few days were like a death had occurred in our family. Thankfully, we made it through those dark times with the help of our church, family, and friends. A couple of weeks later we went as a family to Texas District Camp Meeting. We were overwhelmed with the love, prayer, and support we received from the ministers and wives. On Wednesday morning the minister knew NOTHING about our circumstance and prophesied to Kent. Then we had a couple of other very evident divine moments. Each of us left refreshed in the Lord.

The first month I could not have made it without my friends, Jerry Ann Guidroz, Renee Flowers, Judy Gandy, and Karen Wehrle. They continue to call or text to check on us. Then there is Sis. Benson, Sis. Russo, Gena Caruthers, and others who have gone out of their way to make sure we are ok and to encourage our daughter.

Immediately we got busy making sure our daughter is well taken care of. Bro. Wayne McClain, our pastor, told us she was forgiven before we even knew. He knew she had already made things right with God. Bro. McClain admonished us to love her and continue with life as it were prior to our knowing of the pregnancy. He said if God forgives then we as well as others should. While we knew he was right we also knew we had a church to protect. We wanted our church and daughter to know she didn’t just do wrong but she committed sin against God. Much to our surprise we didn't have to protect the church. They protected us. What awesome saints! Friends as well as saints told us God had arranged for the right people to be in our lives for this time. I know they are right and stand amazed at God.

Now, we are enjoying watching our daughter plan for her baby by preparing the nursery, choosing names, picking out which outfits the baby will wear at the hospital, etc. She is going to be an awesome Mom. Of course we don’t know the gender so final plans can’t be made.

Someone not knowing anything about our circumstances told me God had given them a word for me. "The problem that has robbed you of your joy is going to bring you the greatest joy." I stood and wept and wept. The lady did not even know our daughter. When I told her what we were dealing with she cried. Then replied, "God is right a grandbaby will bring you the greatest joy you have ever experienced"

While I wouldn't wish this crisis on an enemy I am thankful that we see how God prepared us for it. We are doing great and we know great days are ahead for our daughter and grandbaby.

I work with many unwed Moms in bus ministry. I love these dear Moms and their children so much. Just as I have shown mercy we are receiving mercy. Thankfully during this time CUPC has continued to grow and prosper. In fact I believe even greater things will come thru this process that we have experienced. I now love with a new love and show mercy with a new mercy.

I'll try not to be the insane grandmother and let every post be about the baby but as Kent told our church...."Our grandbaby is going to be cuter than yours" :)

Keep us in your prayers.....

Monday, May 17, 2010

How to Experience Church Growth

The early church was a growing church. It is the will of God for the church to continue to grow. Acts 2:47 “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 4:4 “Many of them which heard the word believed and the number of the men was about five thousand,” Acts 5:14 “And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women” Acts 6:7 “And the word of God increased: and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

What hinders the church being added to daily? Some say it is opposition. The early church faced opposition, too. Therefore, to answer the question we must determine what the early church did to yield results and compare if we are doing similar to yield a similar harvest.

Acts 2:42: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” The early church was steadfast in doctrine. They realized the importance of fellowship together or assembling themselves together. They enjoyed meals together and prayed together. The early church accomplished these things together. In summary, the early church was a praying and fellowshipping ministry. Despite opposition it was steadfast. This type church will surmount every obstacle and conquer every foe.

Today people are more concerned with selfish desires. More attention is given to bodies than souls. Some are more concerned with saving a dollar than saving a soul. Entertaining services are more appealing than those with anointing. Too much emphasis is placed upon self and not enough on others.

The church is more skillful and organized than ever. These ingredients should add to the church and not hinder. They should never be ingredients taking the place of fellowship, breaking bread and prayer. Yet they should be tools to facilitate fellowship breaking bread, and prayer. Often we try to exist on skill, organization, and talent and omit the vertical experience of prayer. The Spirit of God or anointing is a necessary ingredient. Human relationships will never be stronger than our relationship with the Creator of humanity.

The harvest is greater than one can imagine. Vertical relationships must increase to allow for the swell of the horizontal relationships. In order to experience the results of the early church we must do as the early church did. We must continue steadfastly.

Steadfast: fixed in direction; steadily directed; firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc., as a person; unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.; firmly established, firmly fixed in place or position

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Beware: Isolation/Separation

Often people deal with a problem by choosing isolation or separation. Having been a Pastor’s wife for almost 20 years now I recognize the symptom. When a distance in someone’s marriage occurs I know soon to come is a separation or divorce unless a miracle occurs. Likewise, when isolation or separation begins in an individual within the church the person backslides or changes churches. Often the later occurs then if the problem isn’t resolved within the individual he eventually backslides.

Each weekday morning I receive a devotional email written by Terry Davidson, Superintendent of Comanche Public Schools in Oklahoma. Once I told Mr. Davidson I think he missed his calling of being a minister. Today his devotional deals with my aforementioned paragraph.

“Because I've battled problems with my back for many years, I've learned that, when lifting something, it is important to keep it close to me. Some of the injuries to my back have occurred when I was lifting something while wearing my good clothes. I would try to keep from getting my clothes dirty by holding the load out away from me.

Whether physically, emotionally, or mentally, we all have loads that need to be picked up sometimes. Sometimes the burden is heavy and sometimes it is dirty. The natural tendency is to try and distance ourselves from the burden.

It won't go away by itself. At some point, it has to be lifted. We might as well get close to it and lift it - - - even if we get our clothes dirty.”

Terry Davidson, Superintendent
Comanche Public Schools

"I must do something" always solves more problems than "Something must be done." - Author Unknown

Thanks, Mr. Davidson, for another thought provoking email. I don’t want to be more concerned with getting my ‘clothes’ dirty or distancing myself from burdens and injure myself in the process. Suits can easily be replaced if torn or stained but an injured spirit is more difficult to deal with.

Anyone having a hard time dealing with a wounded spirit should get a copy of Bro. Shatwell’s message “The Wounded Spirit” preached @ Texas Men’s Conference 2010.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Joy for the Journey thru the Word

Sometimes life is a little bumpy or even has too many curves. During those time we still need to praise and worship God. The joy of the Lord comes as we worship and praise Him. In turn the joy gives strength for our journey of life. It is amazing the strength I find in praying the Word. Praying the Word puts me in the very presence of God. John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Psalm 18:1-3 (KJV)
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,> I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Psalm 24:1-10 (KJV)
A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD'S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

Psalm 47:1-9 (KJV)
To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah. God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.

Psalm 89:1-18 (KJV)
Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite. I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I

Psalm 89:1-18 (KJV) cont’d
establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah. And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fullness thereof, thou hast founded them. The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name. Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. For the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.

Psalm 92:1-9 (KJV)
A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this. When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore. For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

Psalm 93:1-5 (KJV)
The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.

Psalm 95:1-9 (KJV)
O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

Psalm 96:1-13 (KJV)
O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness and the people with his truth.

Psalm 113:1-6 (NKJV)
Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD! Blessed be the name of the LORD From this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its going down The LORD's name is to be praised. The LORD is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens. Who is like the LORD our God, Who dwells on high, Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?

Psalm 99:1-6 (NKJV)
The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved! The LORD is great in Zion, And He is high above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name -- He is holy. The King's strength also loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His footstool -- He is holy. Moses and Aaron were among His priests, And Samuel was among those who called upon His name; They called upon the LORD, and He answered them.

Psalm 104:1-9 (NKJV)
Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind, Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire. You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever, You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters stood above the mountains. At Your rebuke they fled; At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away. They went up over the mountains; They went down into the valleys, To the place which You founded for them. You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, That they may not return to cover the earth.

Psalm 145:1-13 (NKJV)
I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, And I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, And shall sing of Your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works. All Your works shall praise You, O LORD, And Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power, To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

I Timothy 1:17 (NKJV)
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 4:8 (NKJV)
The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!"

Revelation 4:11 (NKJV)
"You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Be Still

This morning I’ve been humming the chorus “Be Still and Know I am God”. It has such a peaceful melody. After continuously humming the song I thought I would read the scripture from Psalm 46:10 (NIV)"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

What would really happen in our lives if we took time to ‘be still’? Be still and stop worrying about children, home, career, finances, problems, family, politics, government, friends, marriage, pressures, and the past. What would happen if we could for a few moments cease to dwell (to linger over, emphasize, or ponder in thought, speech, or writing) on the thoughts which consume our minds and realize or know that He is God.

Simply knowing He is God may not change the situations in our lives but knowing He is God gives us the ability to stop worrying or fretting over those situations we cannot change. It empowers us to know the one that is able to change every circumstance. Every day I want to be still and allow Him to be sovereign.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Seeking? He is Interceeding!

Before my husband asked me to marry him I began to feel such horrific frustration of wanting to know God’s will for my life. Little did I understand I was really seeking His will for my spouse and not His will for my life. It seemed it was such a huge nagging feeling that once I settled the issue all of the other issues in life would be settled. How funny that seems these 29 years later! It was really only the beginning.

I have learned that finding His will means I must continue doing what I know to do and God will take care of my steps otherwise. Yesterday I shared with a minister since coming to Conroe Kent has never tried out for another church nor inquired about another church. We know that God sent us to Conroe and should He ever direct us differently He will open the door. In the mean time we do not have to expend our energy walking around searching doors rather our energy needs to be spent doing the things He has called us to do in Conroe.

As a pastor’s wife the “will of God’ comes up often with young people and r mature adults, too. I’ve prayed many prayers about the will of God for people. Often young ministers and those trying to decide if they are called to ministry become so consumed in the process of finding “the will”. Some stop ministering and begin seeking where God wants them to be or what He wants them to do. Our daughter, Redonia, has the most incredible insight to this turmoil. Being a PK and having often heard the conversations with others has sent her on a quest for the answer. Recently she stated to her Dad and me, “If so and so is really feeling God is leading them to do ______ then why are they not doing that here? How do they think God is leading them somewhere else when they can do the same thing here and are not?” All we could say was “Good questions, Redonia!” She didn’t let the conversation die but passionately talked about Conroe has every opportunity of any other city or any mission field. She questioned if a person really feels God leading them somewhere else maybe they should get some practice or experience here before moving on. We explained sometimes people become consumed seeking God’s will and they miss out on God’s work and pleasure for the day. Of course she agreed and said that is exactly what she was trying to say!

It’s Graduation time and this week I’ve been praying for our high school seniors. I know this is a time when they are trying to soar into new heights. I don’t want these young adults to be so consumed with trying to figure out the “will” that they miss a key moment of opportunity today. Every day they must continue to walk and do whatever it is they know to do that is good. God will take care of the rest.

Ironically this morning as I read a devotional from the catchy title “Eaves dropping on Jesus” caught my attention and opened my thinking. A scripture used was Romans 8:34 (NAS) “Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” How amazing to think we are on God’s prayer list – He intercedes for us!

Today I plan to do the wonderful things for God that present themselves to me knowing with God I am fulfilled and do not need more to satisfy. He knows my needs and it gives me great confidence knowing He prays for me and will direct my path.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Listen to Him

Mark 9:7 (NIV) Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!"

Being the Mother of children with a love for music there always seemed to be noise in our home or vehicles. I do not share the same love or appreciation for music as the other members of my family. At some point along the way Kent’s passion for music switched to Talk Show Radio and soon after the kids learned to love it, too. I learned to be in a car or room with a talk show or music playing loudly yet not hear a thing that was being spoken or sang. Honestly, I heard the “noise” in a very loud and annoying sense yet I did hear anything specifically spoken. My family cannot understand how the volume is loud and with perfectly good hearing I cannot hear.

Maybe Mark 9:7 leaped from the page with a different meaning to me than some because of my natural abilities or ways. “Listen” may mean to grow still, stop talking, or may imply the person speaking is talking softly. However, “listen” to me implies pay close attention to what is being said.

Before our first child was born a concern of mine was I would not hear her cry in the night. Amazingly however, I didn’t have to hear her cry loudly nor for long periods to awaken me. The slightest movement in her crib would awaken me. I loved this new bundle of joy and my ear was attuned to her.

Of late my husband’s hearing has declined. In a normal office or home setting he has no problem hearing. Most of the difficulty is in a loud restaurant. Background noises prohibit him from hearing the persons speaking sitting near him. This has become a great point of frustration. When entertaining guests I endeavor to be considerate of Kent when making dining out plans.

Listening and hearing are very important concepts in our relationship with the Lord. Often, we make decisions in our lives based on our feelings, emotions or others and never consider the Lord. Then, again we feel our decisions are based on God when every principle of the Word is violated. God and His Word cannot be separated therefore God is not a part of such decision.

Last evening a lady shared with me a situation that occurred on her job which is an environment of non-believers for the most part. However, one coworker shares similar religious beliefs. This person began to tell my friend things that “God” had spoken to her. Unfortunately, she was accusing ladies on the job including the lady from our church of things that have not happened. Finally, my friend proclaimed God did not tell you this because what you are saying is a lie and God cannot lie. This morning upon reading Mark 9:7 I could not help but question how many times have I heard voices and confused it with the voice of God. Fears, personal desires, frustrations, the crowd can be factors of confusing thoughts.

Regardless of circumstances or noises around me I want to listen to the voice of God. Just as I very carefully heard the noises of my babies and can clearly recognize even the footsteps of my husband I want to be in such an intimate relationship with the Lord that I know the difference of his voice and confusing spirits.

NOTE: Again the scripture is derived from a devotion on Crosswalk today. There are many online resources for scripture reading and devotions. Though I enjoy reading from devotionals I never want to allow these to 'think' for me. I always ensure the scripture is posted correctly and the interpretation is accurate or measures to the Word of God. Then I sit and meditate upon it I am thankful for so many wonderful places to provoke my thoughts.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fresh Start for Strong Faith!

This morning my routine of web devotions led me to the following as my very first scripture:

Ephesians 2:14 (Amplified Bible)
14For He is [Himself] our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us,

Ephesians 2:14 (The Message)
14-15The Messiah has made things up between us so that we're now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.

Have you ever needed a fresh start? I certainly have needed a new beginning more than once in my life. In fact there have been days as a Mother I realized it wasn’t my children but rather me that needed a fresh start. I had gotten in the habit of seeing their bad behavior, saying no before really considering what they were asking feeling grouchy, etc. Then often I have made mistakes while not even necessarily sinful in nature mistakes they were. During time of mistake I needed someone to give me a fresh start. Maybe I was too temperamental and it hindered my relationship with my husband or others surrounding me.

This scripture is really an eye-opener to me….every day God has a fresh start planned for me. All of my faults and failures from yesterday or wiped away. It’s up to me to walk in that fresh start! A fresh start leds to STRONG faith!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Powerful Verse

Each day I endeavor to read scriptures and/or the devotionals from A few moments ago I scrolled to the bottom of the home page and read the POWER VERSES for today. Both are definitely powerful. After reading the scriptures then I went to as I normally do for some Bible reading. Tonight I decided to read one of the power verses from crosswalk. I thought it would be interesting to read different translations of the verse. Check out this powerful verse:

Isaiah 43:16-21 (The Msg) This is what God says,
the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
they lie down and then can't get up;
they're snuffed out like so many candles:"Forget about what's happened;
don't keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new.
It's bursting out! Don't you see it?
There it is! I'm making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say 'Thank you!' —the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
the people I made especially for myself,
a people custom-made to praise me.

How powerful to be reminded that we were made especially for God! My previous post today I refered to being alert or sensitive to know when evil comes but I want to be alert and present because God is about to do something brand-new!!!! This week CUPC is hosting a Parent's Day inviting all of our bus children's parents to church Sunday. I am alert and expecting GREAT things.

A Lesson from a Dream

Last night’s sleep/awake cycle has dominated my devotion this morning. I dreamed the same dream several times but awoke each time to pray. During each prayer I felt a calm assurance all was well. Then I drifted back to sleep and the cycle began over and over again.

I dreamed there was a bent over person wearing a black cape and hood moving my door knob in attempt to quietly sneak in my front door. I walked swiftly from my bedroom to the front door. Our front door is leaded glass with a leaded glass side light. Before approaching the door I could vividly see the person turning the knob. As I approached the door the person obviously saw me and fled. I never touched the door and would then go back to my bedroom. At this point I woke up.

This morning in reflection I am reminded of several things. First, it occurred to me this was an evil spirit. How horrible to think than an evil spirit was attempting to walk into my home one might say! However, I challenge this thinking and say evil spirits try everyday to get into each of our homes. I’m thankful that I was keen enough to hear the slight rattle of the door knob or maybe it was just that I sensed someone was at the door. What if I would not have heard or sensed something? The spirit could have come in and attacked me or one of my family members. Maybe he would not have been brave enough at that moment to attack but could have hid in a closet or under a bed and oppressed us with his presence until we became weak and vulnerable for his attack

When I saw the evil spirit I didn’t run, hide, or scream for help. I simply kept walking towards the door confronting the very presence of the spirit. It didn’t take a war to get him away from my door. He was persistent and came back several times or at least I dreamed it several times. Maybe God had to be persistent with me several times so I would understand all the dynamics of the dream. Either way, I realize that there was not a fight rather I confronted the spirit and he left.

After the dream I woke up and prayed asking God to protect us and tried to determine the meaning. How many times have I not been sensitive and let something creep in robbing me of my joy, strength, health, emotions, and torment my family? I want to be sensitive and recognize the power that resides within me. I have no reason to fear or be tormented by evil spirits. I can confidently address the spirit. In prayer God will give me the calm assurance that everything is alright. Too often when a tormenting spirit comes we become overcome in the battle. From now on I want to confidently address it and then walk away. In my dream, I did not open the door to ensure the spirit was not there nor did I stand guard of the door. I didn’t call my husband to go out with his gun or call the police because someone was trying to get in the house. I simply walked back to my room and rested.

Normally, when I dream something I feel is spiritual I wake up and move to the living room to pray. Last night was different for some strange reason. I stayed on my pillow and softly prayed then very quickly drifted back to sleep. This morning this has been an important part of my devotion. I have felt the Lord speaking to me saying we don’t have to be tormented or overcome in the battle nor expend lots of energy fighting against things that come to rob us of doing the things we are called. I wonder how many times I have wasted time and energy guarding against something coming back that doesn’t even have the power to come back. From now on I want to confidently address evil spirit and then walk away in the same assurance that everything is going to be ok with God on my side.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Am I Part Giraffe?

Giraffes have the shortest sleep cycle of any mammal. They sleep between 10 minutes and 2 hours in a 24-hour period or an average of 1.9 hours of sleep per day. For Giraffes it is not a sleep disorder that keeps them awake. It is just the way God made them.

Last week I had surgery. While I am not in pain I am not comfortable sleeping at night nor am I sleeping during the day. Even the 2 nights I took pain medication I was not able to sleep. During my interrupted sleep I have prayed, thought, planned, etc.

Last night I had a comforting thought during one of my long awake times. My heavenly Father never sleeps and He was awake with me. David declared, “He who keeps you will not slumber” (Psalms 121:3). God’s sleeplessness is for our good. Verse 5 states, “The Lord is your keeper.” God keeps us, protects us, and cares for us.

I know I’m not part Giraffe despite the fact I have a long neck and long legs. I also know this season in my life will pass but I’m thankful my Heavenly Father is with me every step of the way.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Facebook or Jesus?

Facebook is a social networking site I belong and enjoy. It is totally private if the account is set to be viewed by 'friends' only. I don't recommend meeting new people on Facebook (accepting friends with those you don't know or having the account set as public) In fact I feel it is dangerous for everyone and more especially teens to utilize it for making new relationships. Some times, however, I have become acquainted with someone - a visiting minister's wife, etc and later connect to them on Facebook. Facebook allows me to get to know the person better. It has also proven a great tool for me to keep up with family and friends who live 100's of miles from me. I have also been blessed to reconnect with friends of years gone by using Facebook.

Facebook should not be used as a sole piece of communication relaying important information to those who may need to know. The more friends a person is connected to the more difficult it becomes to read every status update or comment. I currently have 763 Facebook friends. When I read updates I never take the time to go back and read everything since my previous time to read. In other words I leave gaps and miss MANY updates. Hence, don't use facebook to tell me something important. Now if you choose to send me a private email via Facebook I will eventually read it but again I may not connect to Facebook for a while and may not get the message in a timely manner. Remember Facebook is for SOCIAL networking and not for proper communication.

Another frustration I have with Facebook is people use it to say things they would never say otherwise and feel justified because they are saying it to a Facebook "friend". Now I don't have a problem being connected to EVERYONE you may know but some things should not be said to some people. For instance I am a pastor's wife and from time to time I read discouraging words from members of another church. It is NOT my place to be the Facebook Pastor's wife to encourage a saint from another church. First, I don't know the whole story and I may say something wrong. Secondly, the appropriate pastor/pastor's wife may not be on Facebook at all or for a season and the devil can plant a seed that "Sis. Smith cares for me more than my pastor's wife." Ministerial ethics should alway supercede Facebook ethics. Those involved in ministry KNOW the ethics, too.

I don't feel Facebook is the forum for seeking advice or answers to problems. With the internet we can search out causes and cures to problems of any kind. Many medical problems have similar symptoms yet treatment for a specific problem can vary greatly. For instance many illnesses include fatigue and muscle weakness. A such illness is Guillain-Barre-Syndrome, a nerve problem that can lead to paralysis while a thyroid disorder is another. The chief complaints of both diseases are very similar yet the diagnosis is medical miles apart. The treatment is even a wider distance. Seeking advice via the Internet can lead a person on a wrong trail of help. In fact a person could spend hundreds of dollars and countless hours pursing the wrong medical attention only to start over while the suffering continued. Wrong temporary treatment can even cause a problem to grow worse.

Several times of late I have endeavored to caution people of their words on Facebook. I have asked people to think of a scripture and post it when their thoughts would be negative. Or would remind a person of the love of God. Sadly, others had already read the negative comments and possibly were giving wrong advice or forming wrong opinions. We all have bad days. I do not want an opinion formed of me in the midst of a bad moment.

Facebook can be a great place to solicit prayer or post prayer requests. However, just as most churches no longer have 'spoken' prayer request time because many used it is a gossip time neither should Facebook be used to exploit or spread gossip.

Often a person feels a need to carry something to others or talk. Really before carrying to our Facebook friends we should carry to our Friend, Jesus. The old song "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" sums up much of my thoughts this beautiful Sunday morning.

Enjoy the lyrics and if you know the tune sing along as you read.

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear, May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Who Shall I Obey

Romans 6:15-18 (The Message) So, since we're out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we're free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it's your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you've let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you've started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!

Thinking this morning that many things that we CAN do will only hinder liberty and freedom in our lives. Just as many criminal offenses revokes certain rights and privileges as an American citizen, I believe taking certain Christian liberties into our lives hinders the power and the anointing to operate freely in our lives.

Which means more partaking in these liberties or having HIM in complete operation in my life?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Convenience or Burden

Following is a copy of an email I sent to our student ministries staff and Christian school administrator who serves as the director of our Sunday School.

Every weekday I receive an email from Terry Davidson. He is a most incredible thinker. I felt today’s email was worth sharing with each of you. Immediately I thought to send it to each of you. First off to those of you who work with youth @ the church, you have a MUCH greater influence on them that you realize. For the most part those following will not quite measure up to your dedication, prayer life, worship, holiness, nor love for truth. It is best that each of you go a step beyond what you may feel necessary to ensure those following you land in a safe place.

Sis. Tina, I feel this would be great to share with both the Sunday School teachers and CCS staff. As I mentioned to you a few Sundays ago it is going to take teachers in strong command of themselves in areas of preparation and spiritually to even maintain enough order to hold a decently structured class with our outreach children. These children are bringing into our buses and class rooms many spirits.

Last evening Bro. Trent was informed by one of the bus boys he was stabbed @ school this week. He was already pulled from his school and attending the RA school for children with behavioral issues for the rest of the school year. Now he has been sentenced to boot camp, He will even have to attend boot camp in the summer for fighting. The other student is in the Mont Co Juvenile Detention Center for a couple of years. Trent said, “Mom I may not have believed his story but he showed me the big bandage” Well, I have been a little more acquainted with XXXX and trust me I believe this and no telling what else is true about him. XXXX is only in the 6th grade. Both youth leaders and Sunday School teachers of CUPC are working with these type children on a weekly basis.

Each of us have such an incredible responsibility yet such a powerful opportunity before us! If your burden slips even the least I would absolutely love for you to ride the ‘tennis shoe’ bus for two weeks. I promise you will have a renewed burden for doing ALL you can to reach our city. I’m appreciative for the prophetic words of Bro. McClain Sunday night. I have felt exactly the same thing. We are having a revival . I know my conversations always get to outreach but honestly the mission of the church must be outreach. We must reach out to those youth who sit on our benches week end and week out as well as those we are bringing via the buses and van. Every single one of them is worth the effort.

Last week Taylor presented his paper @ school that I mentioned a few wks ago. He received a 95. Greater than that his professor wrote on the paper she was thankful he attended such a great church. She also included his story was a very moving story. Basically Taylor told what happens week in and week out on the bus. He told how he was beginning to question if he was making a difference then the events of Jared & Christian’s life caused him to know HE IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Let’s ALL make a difference by not only telling the kids what to do but let’s MODEL it for them!

Sis. Smith

Dear Colleagues,

Kenneth Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager and many other books about leadership has said, "If you're interested, you do something if it's convenient. If you're really passionate about it, you'll do it whether or not it's convenient." If we expect our students to excel, we must go beyond doing what is convenient.

If we think our students are going to be more passionate that we are, we're mistaken. Most of them aren't going to work harder than we do; they're not going to start earlier than we do; and they won't stay longer than we do.

There's nothing wrong with telling them what they need to do. But let's not forget to model it.

Terry Davidson, Superintendent
Comanche Public Schools

"Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means." - Albert Einstein

(Note: XXXX is used to protect the identity of the 6th grade bus student. Additionally, Taylor is a 10th grade student @ our christian school. Two years ago we double promoted him. He is currently dually enrolled in our school and an area college. The paper was presented to one of his college classes. Taylor is 14 and a very valuable youth worker every Sunday on the bus route)

Monday, February 22, 2010


I am a huge fan and advocate of change; in fact often I have taught that a rut is simply a grave. However, of late I have dwelt much in my private meditations on the subject of change. I realize that many things change and we can either move in some areas of our lives or we will be left behind.

Many people don’t deal well with change. In fact many people are insecure and change creates imbalance. Others are fearful and the slightest change creates trauma. Then there are those who thrive on change. These people change for change sake even if the change moves them to a negative or backwards position. Surely there is balance in all of these people.

Change means different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone. Analyzing the definition of the word change causes me to think deeply. While I agree many things in life needs to change, other times it simply does not matter if things are changed or remain the same, and some things must never change. Some things are simply not negotiable.

In a world that is bombarded with the ideology of tolerance are we instilling in our young people the importance of standing firm being unmovable, unchangeable in the areas of Biblical truths? I know some of the older generation fuss about new music. Honestly I could care less if we are singing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” or “I am a Friend of God”, “How Great is our God” or “How Great Thou Art” Both the old version and the new version are proclaiming the same message. What matters to me is the position of the singer or the musician. The style may change but the position of a submitted singer or musician to God must never change.

My meditations have brought me to a particular conclusion long before a person changes he sets his eyes in a different position. Unfortunately I have known people with a change of position in their marriage. Long before the marital status changes from married to separated or divorced one can change his/her direction of the eye. If that direction changes it isn’t long before the marital status changes. After the eye begins to behold things differently, new friendships or relationships are formed. I have observed similar take place in a spiritual realm. The eye sees things different then relationships change.

Now I’m filled with new questions having resolved the aforementioned conclusions. If a person keeps his eyes on God would he be interested in changing? If a person keeps his eyes on God rather than others would he endeavor to rationalize what’s wrong with some things or would he just leave well enough alone and not struggle with making changes? If we keep our eyes on God would we spend more time on outreach rather than trying to find ways to ‘change safely’? I’ve lived long enough to realize naturally change occurs. We really don’t need to try to facilitate it. In fact I have discovered too often we have to struggle to take things back to its original state rather than find creative innovative ways to change.

Proverbs 22:28 (The Message) Don't stealthily move back the boundary lines staked out long ago by your ancestors.

I believe it is important that we realize the Devil is seeking whom he may devour and a stealthily (quiet, caution, secret) change of boundaries staked out by our ancestors can be a way he is attacking the church today.

Today I am determined more than ever before to pray for every young person possessing any degree of leadership. I am committing more time in prayer including praying the word for my three children this week. Additionally, I will call the name of every preacher’s kid and young minister I know. I don’t want something as valuable as change to create a negative change to move these precious people from the position of being the dynamic powerful leaders God intends them to be. I appreciate the changing of the guard to a younger generation.

CUPC is blessed to have a church full of young people in positions of nursery workers to ushers to musicians to praise singers to bus workers to teachers. I appreciate the youthful change their leadership brings however I do not want them to change Biblical truths including those of salvation and holiness.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Valentine

This year marks my 28th Valentine's to be in love with my best friend, my husband, my pastor, an incredible Dad, an awesome father-in-law, a loyal son, a great son-in-law, a friend to many, a mentor, a Godly man, but I am glad he is my Valentine.

The past 28 years have given me many memories. We have shared many wonderful times together and have braved storms together. Kent is an optimist, a man of faith, and a visionary, full of humor, loving, compassionate, and dedicated.

Today he sent me an email with the following words: “The reservation is set for 6:30Friday nite. You might wanta dress up. Mysterious and romantic!!!!!!!! I love you” He loves surprising me. The greatest gift we give to one another is ourselves. There's absolutely nothing more important to me than Kent. I LOVE him...

I LOVE my Valentine of 28 years. I truly love him more today than ever. He's my boyfriend.....I LOVE him!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In Honor of Valentines Month – Romans 12:10

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; (KJV)

Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. (God's Word Translation)

The professed love of Christians to each other should be sincere, free from deceit, and deceitful compliments. Our duty towards one another is summed up in one word, love. Kindness cannot be expressed to friends and family only. A Christian will not harbor anger against enemies. Christians bless rather than curse those despitefully use them or those who have had occasion to disagree. Blessing does not mean pray for the person and then curse them with actions or hurtful and hateful thoughts or words. It is impossible to both bless and curse. This can only be done in hypocrisy.

A very noticeable symptom of unkindness or lack of love is jealousy or competition. It is impossible to compete or be jealous if we love. These negative symptoms reveal a missing ingredient - a heart filled with love. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love - 1 John 4:8 (NIV)

If God resides in our lives it is impossible to not love everyone. God is either present or He is absent. It is impossible to have hidden places within our heart where we don't love some people. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. (Titus 3:4-5) With God operating in us we will show the same mercy, love, and kindness. It doesn’t matter how others treat us today, treated us in the past, or wronged us. We are never justified in our actions of being rude, short, ugly, or unkind. We will show love and mercy and be kind if God is living within.

God, please dwell in my heart that I may show love and kindness to all!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Seeking Answers...Numbers 9:8

I have had opportunity to talk with 7 and possibly more persons the past couple of weeks who were seeking answers. Each of these persons articulated their discussions differently but ultimately each were discussing the same point. They have been praying about direction, wisdom, guidance, answers, the will of God, or the call of God. What a complex subject!

Does one really hear the voice of God? How do I know what God is saying? How am I sure this is from God? I feel God is wanting me to do this so do I need to begin doing so and so. What a whirlwind of emotions follow!

As a pastor or pastor's wife the last thing we want to do is misguide someone. I find these times like wading off in the deep yet not being a very good swimmer. I can swim enough to stay afloat yet I am not an accomplished swimmer. In fact I am better at floating and dog paddling. How will I survive the deep?

Today I have lunch with a wonderful young lady needing answers. She isn't looking to me for the answer rather looking to me to facilitate her finding answers. I never take such meetings times lightly. I marvel at the times people want to talk with us about finding answers and God begins nudging my spirit.

Last night was a sleepless night for me. Finally I thought of a couple of words. I wasn't sure if God was giving me these words for me or for those I will endeavor to help -"BE STILL". Upon searching I began to read Numbers 9:8.

As I read Number 9:8 from several translations the Word of God was illumninated to me in a most powerful way.

New International Version (©1984)
Moses answered them, "Wait until I find out what the LORD commands concerning you."
New Living Translation (©2007)
Moses answered, "Wait here until I have received instructions for you from the LORD."

English Standard Version (©2001)
And Moses said to them, “Wait, that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you.”

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Moses therefore said to them, "Wait, and I will listen to what the LORD will command concerning you."

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Moses answered them, "Wait here until I find out what the LORD commands you to do."

King James Bible
And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.

American King James Version
And Moses said to them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.

American Standard Version
And Moses said unto them, Stay ye, that I may hear what Jehovah will command concerning you.

Bible in Basic English
And Moses said to them, Do nothing till the Lord gives me directions about you.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Moses answered them: Stay that I may consult the Lord what he will ordain concerning you.

Darby Bible Translation
And Moses said to them, Stay, and I will hear what Jehovah commands concerning you.

English Revised Version
And Moses said unto them, Stay ye; that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Moses said to them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.

World English Bible
Moses answered them, "Wait, that I may hear what Yahweh will command concerning you."

Young's Literal Translation
And Moses saith unto them, 'Stand ye, and I hear what Jehovah hath commanded concerning you.'

Moses was obviously in conversation and he asked them to stand or wait until he heard from God concerning them. Something leaped from reading these translations...(I guess I needed to read the many translations for it to sink!) Moses was confident that he would hear from God for the people. They needed to be patient and wait until he heard the commandments or direction concerning them.

Often people have questions or feel God calling or leading and want to do something immediately. I recognize a few powerful things in this verse. They discussed with the leader their concerns, the leader took authority and asked them to wait, Moses KNEW he would get clarity on the matter.

This also puts an incredible amount of pressure on leaders to handle people's affairs very carefully. Honestly, Kent and I have failed miserably in this scripture. Too often when people have approached us we allow our "Open Door" policy to hinder. I wonder if we said "Wait" what would be the outcome. Are people willing to submit and wait? All to often people approach their leaders with their minds made up. Of course then there are times like today when a sweet lady is tearful begging for help. She has prayed and isn't sure what God is saying.

God, help me to stay focused on you. I believe thru submission to You all things can be accomplished in the lives of those we are charged to lead.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You are My Shield

I will bless the Lord forever,
And I will trust Him at all times.
He has delivered me from all things,
And He has set my feet upon the Rock.

I will not be moved, and I'll say of the Lord:
You are my Shield, my Strength, my Portion, Deliverer,
My Shelter, Strong Tower, my very present help in time of need.

Whom have I in Heaven but you.
There's no one I desire beside You.

You have made me glad, and I'll say of the Lord:
You are my Shield, my Strength, my Portion, Deliverer,
My Shelter, Strong Tower, my very present help in time of need.

My very present help in time of need.

My very present help in time of need.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Walking in the Midst of the Storm

"And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water." Matthew 14:28

Jesus responded and Peter walked on the water for a while. Then he began to look at the boisterous winds around him. When he did, he began to sink. Then Peter cried out to Jesus to save him.

Peter had the faith to call out to Jesus and ask Him to let him come to Him, and at Jesus' word He stepped out onto the water. When Peter began to sink, he had the faith to call out to Jesus to save him. Peter did not have the same faith in Jesus when he looked at the "storm" around him. We, like Peter, have faith in the Lord to step into the water when we get in trouble. When we begin to sink we have faith in Him to save us. It seems our trouble comes in the "middle" of the storm. That's when we have trouble believing and trusting Him. I trust Him to get me out there, I trust Him to save me when I sink, but can I trust Him when I'm in the storm raging all around me? Do I have the faith to believe that He can keep me afloat? Do I forget Who is with me on the stormy sea?

When Peter was sinking, Jesus asked him why he doubted. In other words...why did you doubt that I would take care of you while you were out here? We must learn to trust Him while we are in the boat, when we take that first step out of the boat, when we are sinking... and while we are going through "boisterous" times.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I've Been Through Enough

I woke up from a long afternoon nap with the following song rolling in my head. It ministered to me and maybe it will minister to you, too. Enjoy!

When I first began to walk with the Lord,
I did not really trust Him,
How He longed for me to understand that I could
So thru the valley, He lead me, afraid as I could be,
Until I felt His loving arms, embracing me

I've been through enough to know, He'll be enough for me
He's come through too many times
That puts my mind at ease, for good
I'll stake my very life, He's gonna take care of me,
Cause I've been through enough to know, He'll be enough for me

How could I ever doubt a God whose hands hold the universe,
Why would I ever question His ability,
There's no place that I can go, where He doesn't know,
The things that trouble me
He's always aware of where I am and what I need

I believe Him now, after all these years,
He's been so faithful He's proven to be true,
Nevermore will I doubt or question why
Cause I've seen them all before and I know what God can do

I've been through enough to know, He'll be enough for me
He's come through too many times
That puts my mind at ease, for good
I'll stake my very life He's gonna take care of me,
Cause I've been through enough to know, He'll be enough for me

Monday, January 11, 2010

Encouraging Scriptures

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. Psalm 46:1-3,7

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 2 Tim 1:7 (AMP)

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:8 (AMP)

Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail). Psalm 55:22 (AMP)

He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved. Psalm 62:6 (AMP)

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)

The Lord is good, a Strength and Stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows (recognizes, has knowledge of, and understands) those who take refuge and trust in Him. Nahum 1:7 (AMP)

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ministry: What it has encompassed for me

Wanted: Adult female to serve without pay. Must be able to function without complaint as secretary, music director, nursery worker, janitor, auxiliary president and fund-raiser. On call 24 hours a day. Cooking abilities a plus. Good sense of humor helpful.

In many churches, this is the unpublished job description of the pastor's wife--perhaps the only profession that has no real job description but is deemed vital to her husband's success. Lawyers do not depend on their wives to defend clients. Doctors don't need their wives in the operating room. But in many churches, a pastor needs his wife in the ministry.
-- The Baptist Standard

In our early days of ministry often I was asked "Do you sing?" Then "Do you play the organ?" Since I did neither an awkward moment of silence followed. The pastor or pastor's wife asking grew quiet. I wasn't certain the reason for the awkwardness. Was it they couldn't believe I wasn't going to woo the crowd before my husband preached; or did they expect me draw people to the altar at the close of his message if his preaching atempts failed. Finally, God inspired me or I became brave probably the later. I began to replace the awkward moment of silence with "I don't do either but normally I pray and worship".

From the very begining I felt that I was apart of Kent's team. Never once did I feel I wasn't wanted, needed, or have anything to contribute. My role was much different than playing the keys or becoming a team player with a microphone. My role seemed to be more of an encouraging voice, a friend, and a companion to my preaching husband. My roles in serving others have always been more like the one mentioned by the Baptist Standard. I have served where I was needed regardless of my abilities.

Our first full time position was in Shepherd, Texas in 1985. I was 22 years of age. While sitting in one of our first services the pastor peeked thru the door and called me out of service. As I walked into the office there sat the financial secretary whom I had not met. Pastor informed me the secretary and his wife were moving and would not be back after that service. I was told to sit in the office and be trained in ONE service for the postion. While I had been employed for the Department of Defense Contract Auditing Agency and understood much about accounting principals I'm not sure I was qualified for the position of financial secretary. Little did I know this was one of the greatest experiences of my life for many reasons.

A later full-time position included the role of Kent being principal of a christian school. I found my self teaching first and second grades and high school grammar. I certainly did not have the qualifications needed for much of this duty. Again this was a great experience that equipped me for later needs. During this tenure I dealt with several disgruntled parents, watched as church members felt their children needed special treatment, etc. God used this time to prepare me for later.

Thankfully, in early days of ministry I learned to be able to talk with people despite my shyness and pray in the altars. Both of our positions prior to pastoring required that I work along side my husband. What a preparation for pastoring!

As a pastor's wife I have filled many positions. I have been the sole Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Director, and then teacher again under other's leadership. I have been a praise singer, choir member, and solo singer. The first year of our christian school I served as secretary, teacher, lunch lady, and administrator simultaneously. Now I serve as an advisor to our administrator and fine staff of 12 or 13 persons. In early days I was the only janitor. Later we were a family on the cleaning team. Now I serve as overseer to an outsourced janitorial crew. I have been the financial secretary and now assist when needed in our financial office. I have taken neighborhood children in my car to church, driven the church van, became captain of a bus route, and now oversee 2 busses and a van. Prior to a youth group I worked with the youth and would have them in our home weekly to play games. Now we have 3 separate groups for student activities - Kidz Klub, Stand Student Ministries, and Impact.

Currently, I go to the office with my husband Monday thru Friday. I have a small office (closet) with a corner computer desk in Kent's office. From that tiny 4 foot by 4 foot work space much is accomplished. We have a wonderful administrative assistant, school secretary, and financial secretary, assistant pastor, and school staff. I endeavor to be available to support them. When my intercom isn't buzzing, the adminstrative assistant isn't asking me a question, or someone isn't texting me I find time to study, write encouraging notes or cards, or even take personal time for Facebook or reading blogs. I am not required by my husband nor the church to go to the office but I go because I love the place God has called Kent and me to serve. Ocassionally, I skip out for a couple of hours to shop or meet a friend or family member for lunch.

While many of the things I have listed are of the 'physical roles' my most fullfilled moments come from the 'spiritual roles'. Nothing is more satisfying than praying and working with people and watching them overcome or grow spiritually. I enjoy praying for people in the privacy of my home, with people in service, or even meeting with people at night or away from church to pray. Outreach is something I fill God has anointed me to do. I find it very easy and rewarding to bring people to church and work with new converts. Last night while visiting with a new family who comes as a result of our busses I felt overcome with a burden for them. Several was standing around. I asked Kent if would could pray with this couple. I can't explain the faith and excitement I felt as we prayed in our church foyer.

Being a pastor's wife has not been all fun and glamour but its rewards have far exceeded the problems. When the work becomes mundane and the pressures great I attempt to find something or someone where I can make a difference. Yesterday was one of those days. I dealt with a couple of situations that were less than pleasant. After lunch I returned to the office and needed to do something positive. I quicky began moving around greenery, decor, etc. In a few minutes time Deadra and I had refreshed the ladies bathroom, 3 offices, my space, and our church foyer. I'm not sure anyone even noticed last night at church but I sure felt better!

This entry will continue over the next few months. It will not be my sole subject but while attempting to help the ministers wives of CUPC (more than 10 of them) I thought others may enjoy my thoughts. This is not one of my lessons but rather a look at what ministry has been to me...