Monday, December 31, 2007

God is great is 2008!!

Ok, I know it's corny, but at least it rhymes!! hahaha

Let me start with a few quick comments about my weekend. It was an AWESOME time!! Jimmy hasn't been happier and slept like a log with all his "babies" under one roof!! The kids had such a great time together and so many times I found myself just sitting back, watching and often moved to tears at how good God has been to me! To give me such an AMAZING man, 3 INCREDIBLE kids that I adore and to be stepmom - and now mother-in-law - to these kids who have grown up to be so WONDERFUL! My stepson is the youth pastor at his church, my daughter-in-law works as the secretary over the maintenance dept at their church and my stepdaughter is a Junior in high school and co-captain of the cheerleaders at her Christian school. She has also started a Bible study night with the squad. AMAZING! Kids thrown into the drama of divorce at such a young age, now grown and serving the Lord! THAT is a testimony of the power of God!!!

Ok, so with 2008 breathing down our necks and this being my last post of the year, I wanted to just share a few things the Lord has been speaking to me about. First, is His faithfulness and I think the above paragraph kinda explains that!! Second is His provision. God equips us for whatever He calls us to do. Sounds simple, because it IS simple! Lately He's been showing me that I am the one who makes that process difficult. I mess up His plans with my unbelief! He lays things out, opens doors for me and then I sit here going, "Are you sure?" "You really don't mean that for me, do you?" "I am certainly not equipped for THAT!". Rev. Airton Pupo, our Brazilian church minister spoke at church last night on Mark 6 where Jesus returned to Nazareth but the people there "blew it" with their unbelief. They didn't stop Jesus' power but "He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them." Mk 6:5. It's not that he "couldn't" do it, He is after all God, it's that their unbelief caused the consequence of His "limited" power. It's like Jesus held back miracles in their lives because they refused to just believe. That hit me like a ton of bricks! In my notes last night I wrote "How many times has Jesus been amazed at my lack of faith?".

Thirdly, this morning my "God Calling" was titled "Jesus the Conqueror" and here's a line or two or three! haha "'Thou shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.' And in that word "sins" read not only vice and degradation, but doubts, fears, tempers, despondencies, impatience, lack of Love in big and little things. Jesus. 'He shall save His people from their sins.' The very uttering of the name lifts the soul away from petty valley-irritations to mountain heights. Jesus. Say it often. Claim the power it brings." Is that good stuff or what? Then my devotional reading this morning was all about worry. “Worry” literally means “to be pulled in different directions”. The old English root from which we get our word “worry” means “to strangle”. Worry literally strangles our peace and honestly, has no place in the hearts of women.
· Worry is a control issue.
· Worry is wasted energy.
· Worry is consuming and unhealthy.
· Worry is a joy thief.
· Worry is the interest that we pay today on tomorrow’s problems.
· Worry is practicing atheism. (OUCH!)
· Worry makes everything seem bigger than it really is!

When we choose to trust God, we are choosing against worry. Isaiah’s prayer of faith should be our prayer as well. “You, Lord, give true peace. You give peace to those who depend on you. You give peace to those who trust you.” (Isaiah 26:3 ICB) It is simple. God rewards our trust with His peace. How is must hurt the heart of God to see His children caught in the trap of negative attitudes when His plan is a peaceful mind-set. We will never minister in freedom and power until we consistently choose against worry and deliberately choose to trust God alone. " (these words came from Mary Southerland)

This weekend while window shopping with my 3 daughters we saw a sign that said "Don't change the way you look, change the way you see." If I could sum up 2007 with one sentence that would be it. God changed the way I look to the way I see! In 2008 I do not want to make a list of resolutions that I'll break the first week and spend the rest of the year beating myself up over, but I will simply see. I will do my best to see with the eyes of God. To see that it's NOT about me! To see that I am responsible to take care of my temple, but it's not about how fat or skinny I am, or my hair color, or my newly found wrinkles. To see that it's NOT about what people think of me, or if my clothes are "in" or if my shoes are old (and believe me THAT one is a struggle for me cause I LOVE me some shoes! haha). To see that what my year is about is telling others about Jesus. About showing Jesus to my kids. About showing Jesus to my friends. About loving the way Jesus loves! My prayer for 2008 is that God will show Himself greatly in me, in my life and in the lives of all the ones that I love!!!

Ya'll be safe tonight and I'll see ya next year!!!!
Sing it with me now.... After all it's all about love, love, love, love, LOVE!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007


Jimmy's Christmas Surprise! My stepson JV (2nd from rt), his wife Charlotta (rt) and my stepdaughter Cassie (2nd from lt) came in Thur. night and dad had NO CLUE!!!! This is our crew!!! Happy holidays!!! I'll blog more later but now I'm lovin' havin' all my kids under one roof!!! Love to all!!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Here we go.....

Busy, busy, busy! You'd think that since Christmas has come and gone I wouldn't be saying those words, but the fun is just beginning at the E Ranch! I can't go in to much detail as my man ventures on here once in a while to read, but I have a HUGE surprise in store for him this weekend!!!

I'm busy today preparing my house for the days to come. I wish I could take the time to apply that sentence to my spiritual life, but I really must get with it. I promise to come back in a day or two and share the surprise with each of you! Who knows, maybe I'll even post a picture!!! (start prayin' now since I'm so techno-challenged!)

Love to all and I pray your Christmas was so full of Christ's joy that you were about to bust!!! I know I sure was!!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Reason....

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. May we all stop and celebrate the birth of Jesus and love...

Friday, December 21, 2007

200th POST!!!!!!!!

Can't believe it's #200! Thought I'd share this AWESOME song as we celebrate this Holy season and what it's REALLY all about!!!!

Clash of the Choirs

Did anyone else watch this show? Being a singer you know I was going to! This was my favorite choir because they didn't sing everything in unison, but like a choir!! Thanks NBC for a refreshing breeze from all the JUNK we usually get on TV!!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Unfailing love...

My, my, my, Abba Daddy, you sure have been layin' it on me this week!! I thank you for loving me enough to speak to me!! You are amazing!

Oh yeah, I forgot ya'll are reading this too! haha I've been doing the Romans study online by Beth Moore. I'll be honest that it has been QUITE heavy at times so I took a couple of weeks off. I needed some time to process it all. It's funny because I never really thought I was one of "those" people. I used to think that I either got it or I didn't and then move on. Maybe that explains alot!! OUCH!!

So anyway, we're on week 21 - yes I said week 21 - and guess where we are? Romans 5:1-8!!!! See why I needed a break?! She started this back in June and I doubled up some to get caught up but land sakes ya'll - GOOD STUFF!!! WHOA! So this week I've been talking with a friend about how much our earthly dad's represented God to us in our lives. DEEEEEEP stuff! So yesterday I sit down and we're on these precious verses in chapter 5. Ya'll know how Beth does things. She'll take either a word or a phrase and give you such a fresh insight that you'll truly believe those words were NOT in your Bible before! Even if they're underlined, highlighted and everything else! (Ok, I know it's God doing that, NOT Beth, but ya'll know what I meant, right?!) So I'll just share a few of the notes I took instead of trying to tell you everything.

"We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand." Rom 5:1b-2 Consider that grace is more than just a gift from God or something God does but grace is a physical place. A wide open spacious place! How different could my life be if I could stand in grace? How different could my relationships be if I could choose to stand in the place of grace? Where do I go when the enemy tries to squeeze me into a corner of fear, depression or hurt? I go stand in the openness of grace! See what I mean ya'll, GOOD STUFF!

Here's where it really gets good! Rom 5:5"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Ok. She give us Four Confessions of Divine Affection - in other words four things we can know FOR SURE about God's love.
1 - God is PERFECT love.
2 - Nothing can separate me from God's love.
3 - God pours His perfect love into my imperfect heart.
4 - When accessed, (God's perfect love) I can love anyone thru anything!!
Ok, ya'll, I'm so excited about this that I can barely get my fingers to move fast enough! Ya'll remember this is from Beth Moore it's not mine! (don't want any credit for this!) Love isn't something God does or feels and circumstances or behaviors don't affect it - It's part of WHO HE IS! It's His Divine DNA! There can never be anything big enough or anything bad enough that I do to change that about God! I was NEVER good enough to do something BAD ENOUGH to mess up God's love for me! Does anyone else get that?! I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH GOD'S LOVE!!! I can't change it, I can't be worthy of it, I can't control it! It's WHO HE IS!!!! Somebody wants to shout!! YYAAAHHHHHOOOOOOOO-JAH!!!

Ok, Prov. 19:22a says "What a man desires is unfailing love". Now what was #1? God is PERFECT (unfailing)love. So since God is the ONLY ONE capable of giving me what I desire most - unfailing, perfect love - why can't I let some of the people in my life off the hook?! Ok, go back and read that again! Really, do it!!! My HUSBAND will never give me unfailing, perfect love! My PARENTS (remember the conversation I'd been having with my friend this week - WOOOOOHOOOO) will never give me unfailing, perfect love!! My KIDS will never give me unfailing, perfect love! No human being anywhere on this planet will EVER be able to give me what my heart desires MOST!!! That job is left SOLELY to the One who "demonstrates his own love for me(us) in this: While I(we) was(were) still a sinner(s), Christ died for me(us)." Hold on ya'll, gotta go run a praise lap!!!!!..........

Here's one of the last things I'll leave with you. I'll quote Beth here "We will never love well if we do not feel well loved." I can't love my man, my kids, my family, my friends, anyone well unless I get it thru my thick skull that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me to show my unlovable self how much God the Father agape's me!!!! How much He agape's you!!!! All He asks is to love Him in return and to love my neighbor as myself! And not just say "Oh, love ya in Jesus" but to love them even if it's a sacrifice to myself. In fact, there's no greater offering to the Father than to love someone who is unlovable. After's what He did for me!!!

Ok, gotta go run some more......

(Forgot one thing first, I didn't mention that the title to my God Calling yesterday morning was "Perfect Love" NO LIE!!! I read that BEFORE I listened to the study! Then today's title was "Depression" and I'll share a few lines with you. "Depression is the impression left by fear. Fight and conquer, and Oh! for Love of Me, for the sake of My tender, never-failing Love of you, fight and love and win." Does that kill you?! I just love God-stops in my life!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Serious business

***Just a quick update on my mom. So far, all of her test have come back normal - thank you Jesus - but they're still having difficulty controlling her BP and with her history of stroke they're reluctant to let her go home. Your prayers have been answered and I thank you for each of them, however please pray for wisdom for the Dr.'s as they change and adjust her meds. Thanks!!

My devotion this morning led me to James 4:8. Here's what the NIV says. "Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." Ouch. Double-minded. However, I looked at The Message translation and listen to this. "So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet." WHOA!!! The fun and games are over!!! Get serious, really serious!! OUCH!!

I think about things I've taken seriously in my life. I'm not proud to say that college wasn't one of them. I did what I had to do to get by. Now, when I went to work and actual people were in my care, THEN I took what I learned seriously. I applied the things I learned to those people I was caring for. I think about preparing for motherhood. Girl, I read every book out there. I thought that this was something I had REALLY get prepared for and since I'd learned thru my college days what a struggle it was for me to apply the things I didn't take seriously in the classroom I studied!!! I remember thinking as I checked in to the hospital to be induced with my first son, 'I AM READY'!!! (ok all you mothers better stop laughing right now, you know you did the same thing!! haha) Not 26 hours later (yes I was in labor for 26 hours!) I was lying on that hospital bed with my son in the crib beside me and we both were crying! I had no idea what I was doing! I was T-TOTALLY unprepared for this! Those books didn't know what they were talking about! Can I get a witness?! haha

Anyway, after they kicked me out of that hospital - and believe me I went kicking and screaming - I realized this was IT! I had no choice. It was time to grow up, put on my big girl panties, and get serious!! (hope that didn't offend anyone! haha) I was a medical assistant with a family practice. I was the go to girl that new mom's called with their 10,000,000 questions. I was the one who gave advice to them, yet as I held this amazing little boy in my arms, I HAD NO CLUE!!! (My hubby still laughs about that one!)

So I think about my walk with God. How many years did I do what I had to do just to get by? How long did I take Him for granted? How often did I open the Word just to check it off my to-do list? OUCH! The fun and games are over, get serious, really serious! I'm so glad that I did hit bottom, not to say I won't ever go there again, but I PRAY now that he'll keep me from that. In fact, my God Calling (I know, here I go again with that book! haha) this morning reminded me that "the powers of evil watch you as a besieging force would watch a guarded city - the object being always to find some weak spot, attack that, and so gain an entrance. So evil lurks around you, and seeks to surprise you in some fear. The fear my have been but a small one, but it affords evil a weak spot of attack and entrance and then in come rushing despondency, doubt of Me, and so many other sins." Does that sound serious to you? Sure does to me!

In The Message James says "Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field." Sweet sisters, I love each of you who have popped onto this blog, but if you're not already, it's time to get serious! It's time to quit playing the field, quit being double-minded and really get serious! I can't tell you how my life has changed! It seemed for so long I lived from tragedy to tragedy, drama to drama, and now...peace, joy, hope and yes, calm! In the midst of a 10, 8 and 5 year old, calm. (on the inside anyway! haha) In the midst of my mom in the hospital and not being able to get to her to know what's happening, peace. In the midst of job insecurities, joy. That's serious business sweet friends!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One Touch - Great Faith!

Give me one moment in time....

Ya'll remember that Whitney Houston song don't you? I was reading about the woman who had been "subject to bleeding for twelve years" in Mark today and this song just popped into my head. Then my sweet friend Tracy sent me an email that got me thinking about a significant moment in time in my life.

First, let's talk about our sweet sister who had her "issue". I have thyroid disease so I have some female issues that have made me want to scream at times. However, 12 years!!! Think about that 12 stinkin' years!!! All I can say is she must have the biggest mansion on her block in heaven!!! I would likely be in prison for either murder or attempted murder - 12 years!!!!! So I guess it goes without saying that this sister was DESPERATE! The Word says in Mark 5:26 "She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse." Luke, a Dr. himself, even went so far as to say "but no one could heal her" (Lk 8:43b) This woman had seen lots of Dr's. She'd likely tried every remedy known at that time. I'll bet she even did crazy things like drinking a tablespoon of vinegar every day (have you ever?). I know if I were in her shoes, I certainly would. Yet, she hears of Jesus coming thru her town and I'll bet she thought "THIS IS IT"! I've tried everything else! What do I have to lose?" Mark says that when she heard Jesus was coming she thought "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Now, that's some faith. I'm sure she'd heard of all the other miracles He'd performed and it's obvious she believed them so she thought all I need is a moment. All I need is to get close enough. He won't need to stop and talk to me. He won't need to know how love I've suffered. He won't need to know how much money I've spent and everything I've tried. I just need a moment.

Put yourself in her shoes. Desperate. Tired. Broken. She sees Him coming and the crowd presses in. She tries, but misses, she reaches but someone pushes, then finally it happens...she stretches as far as she can and touches His cloak. Not even a handful of it, just the edge and IMMEDIATELY she is healed! One touch! One precious moment in time! Her life was RADICALLY changed forever!!! She would NEVER be the same!!!!

This story has always been precious to me. The desperation of the woman, the power of Jesus, the compassion He showed her when He called her out. The love He showed her when he said "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." Immediately she was healed and immediately He knew! He knew her suffering. He knew her desperation. When He asked "Who touched my clothes?" it wasn't that His omnipotence left Him for a minute, He just wanted her to have enough faith to step out of the crowd and say "It was me".

Her faith created a moment in time in her life that changed EVERYTHING! God has been gracious enough to give me a few of those moments as well. No, I didn't have a 12 year medical problem, but mine was a lifelong mental/emotional problem. I've been desperate. Broken. Tired. I've felt that I had no hope. Praise His name that every time I was in those places He's called me out! He's sent His power to save me, to restore me, to heal me! My life has been RADICALLY changed! He has given me the words "Daughter, go in peace"! During this Holy season I pray you'll take some time to reflect on God's goodness to you. His mercy and grace. That you'll open your heart completely to Him, let Him heal your heart and say "Daughter, go in peace" to you as well!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Update on my mom...

Just wanted to pop on to let you know that prayers have been answered. My mom's MRI was normal so no stroke!! They're checking her carotids to see if she has an oxygen/blood deficiency in her brain. If all is clear then we'll know that all of this came from the multiple medications her Dr. has her on. Thanks for your prayers.

What now.......

What a weekend. Friday and Saturday morning were just JAM PACKED with running and going but the Sat. afternoon we just hung out together, watched a few movies, got ready for church. Just spent some much needed calm time together. (As calm as you can be with 3 active little people!) It was just what my family needed. It was just what I needed. Thank you God for "down time"!

So today I sit in anticipation of what God is doing in me. I told you all a while back that I had approached our music minister's wife about a Bible study and she was TOTALLY on board for that, THEN she had her huge accident and I felt God was saying, not yet. Well He hasn't really left me alone about it. I've prayed for discernment, I've prayed for His leading and He keeps saying "So what now? What are you waiting for? Don't you trust me?" So I had the staff of the music dept. send out an email and lay out a sign up sheet to see how many women might even be interested. That's a HUGE step for me. I'm no teacher! I'm just a girl who loves Jesus and wants my sister's to love Him and dive into His Word along with me. I have nothing of value to teach them, only to share how God is working and has worked in my life and hopefully help someone. Also, hope that THEY will help me with their lives! So with the holiday season attendance at church was WAAAYYYY down yesterday. Charlotte is full of people with family "elsewhere" so it seems during holidays we have a ton of folks going. At least that's what I hope it is. With that said, we've had 2 ladies sign up yesterday!!! I was SOOOOOO excited! Sure, I'd like it to be 52, but in reality there weren't even 52 people in the choir loft in one of our services!! Besides, I'm not in this for the "masses"! I'm in this for the ministry. For relationships!! With each other but mostly with Jesus!!!!

So pray that God will lead the women He wants to this study and that if I am truly the one to lead - which I still can't believe - that He'll move in me to do His work!!

One other mom went to the hospital Sat. night and we're waiting for test results to see if she's had another stroke. Please keep her in your prayers and my family as well as we deal with this during this season. Thanks and I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 14, 2007

S U R P R I S E!!!!!

Do you like surprises or are you one of those "need to know" people? I think I fall smack in the middle! Most times I'm a need to know kinda gal, but an occasional surprise get my juices flowing! I love the rush of being surprised but I also love the rush of anticipation for anothers' surprise. What I don't enjoy is pretending to be surprised when I know what's coming! As my Chase says "Awkward!"

In my life there's been lots of GREAT surprises - 2 of which I call Joshua and Kayley! haha There's also been some HORRIFIC surprises (but we're not gonna talk about those today) In this holiday season there's a lot of surprises. Anticipation of what's in that GINORMOUS box under the tree (not that there's ANYTHING under my tree - but you get the idea), the wonder of who may come to visit, the anticipation of watching someone you love open that SPECIAL gift! Surprises! Last night I had one of the sweet joy's of anticipation for my sweet Josh. His school "WINTER" program (don't get me started with the political correctness) was last night and Josh had a small speaking part. He's been so excited to be chosen. I've been so excited for him because of all my kids, he's the shy one! As we're in the car on the way there I asked him if he wanted to go over the lines one more time and he said, "No, mom, I'm good, but I do have the butterflies." My momma heart skipped a beat!! As a "performer" it just made my heart sing to know my baby had the jitters! Is that bizarre or what? I almost started crying! haha I did reassure him that he would do great and then prayed for him when we got to the parking lot. (He would DIE if I did it in front of anyone! haha)

I'm also sitting on a few surprises for others in my family. Not just gifts but other things! NO I'M NOT PREGNANT!!! Like I said before - HORRIFIC surprise! haha I've just got a few things planned that are hopefully going to make this season special.

So as I think about the surprises of life, the good and the bad, I'm so glad to know that as I place my trust in Christ I don't HAVE to be anxious (although I admit that I fail there sometimes). Also that are things I can anticipate! I anticipate the day my Josh and Kayley ask Jesus in their hearts. I anticipate the day my brother and my oldest sister start walking with Jesus EVERY day! I anticipate Christs' return! The ULTIMATE surprise for all believers!!!!!!!! Can you hardly wait for that day? I mean looking into Jesus' face?! I don't think this will really happen, but go with me for the purpose of my topic today - the day Christ calls "SURPRISE" to His bride!! OH I CAN HARDLY STAND THE ANTICIPATION OF IT!!!!! My prayer is you and yours and mine too are ready!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Just Wanna Praise Him.....

After sharing my attempt at self-destruction yesterday it really got me thinking about my life. As I sat remembering some of that stuff and BELIEVE me, I left out a WHOLE lot of stuff, I just couldn't help but fall on my face in thanks to God. Ya'll, if there's ever been someone who's been delivered - it's me! I am a living testimony that God can bring you OUT! He can bring you out of the deepest pit you've either gotten yourself into or you've gotten thrown into.

This morning my "God Calling" (are ya'll about sick of hearing about that book? TOUGH! HAHA) was titled "Perpetual Guidance". FOR REAL! Dec 14th. That's the title! Here's a couple of lines. "The Joy of Perpetual Guidance. The joy of knowing that every detail of your lives is planned by Me, but planned with a wealth of tenderness and Love." Can you stinkin' believe that? I just said that yesterday - and NO I don't read ahead!! His Hand was working thru every stupid, idiotic situation I got myself into. His Hand is still working thru every single thing I do! Here's more. "The thought of this loving leading should give you great joy. All the responsibility of life taken off your shoulders." THAT MAKES ME WANNA RUN SOME LAPS YA'LL!!! YAHOO-JAH!!!

I don't want to put things on this blog for ANYONE to go - wow Valarie, that's great! What I want is for you to go "Wow God, you're so great to do that for her!" Because He is so great!!!!!!! Gonna be a crazy day today, but I'm gonna "Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance, I just wanna praise You!"!!!!! Go ahead, you know you wanna sing it too!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Challenge

Well ya'll it looks like my friend Lucy laid out a challenge today. It's a tad on the scary side to open myself wide open, but you know what, I trust God. I trust that He'll work whatever comes of this for my good! He's BIGGER!

So today I'm going to share a bit of my testimony. Like she said, I'll write about what I know. I don't know much, but I do know that God has worked in my life, my ENTIRE life, to bring me to "such a time as this." I don't DARE compare myself with the brave Esther - NOT IN THE LEAST - but it is a great line, don't you think? teeehee

I was born and raised in church. Literally, my dad was the music director and my mom in the choir, they were also young single adult Sunday school teachers - which meant there were ALWAYS people at my house. My mom missed church the Sunday after I was born and at not quite 2 weeks old I was back in church. I'd love to tell you that I've been there serving God ever since, but that wasn't His plan for me.

I prayed to receive Christ while my dad was "touring" with his quartet at a church in Ohio. I was 12 years old and remember the prick of the Holy Spirit on my heart that night as I realized that I would spend eternity in hell without Jesus in my life. Again, I'd like to say we started a loving relationship and I rode off into the sunset with my Savior, but again, NOT the plan. I was always a bit more "developed" shall we say than most the girls my age. Also, growing up in a house full of young adults (literally they were at our house 5 of 7 nights), young MALE adults I grew up really quick. I don't have a horror story, it wasn't that I was abused or anything, but things happened and were said to me that if I EVER hear anyone say to my daughter they will get their block knocked off! Can I get a witness on that one?

So growing up receiving a lot of attention from those boys and from boys at school (not because I was pretty - just "DEVELOPED" if you get my meaning) I began to thrive on that attention. My parents were very busy at church. Sometimes too busy to notice things going on with me, so I got whatever attention I could from whomever would pay it to me. By high school, I had a serious boyfriend and thought for sure he would be the father of my children! PRAISE GOD for His plan!! WHEW! Anyway, by my 1st yr of college that "love of my life" broke up with me and shortly after that I found out that my dad had been involved with a woman at our church. Big ugly affair followed by my heart being ripped out by this boy. Instead of looking to Jesus to love me, I instead blamed Him for ruining my life and began running as far from Him as I could.

I won't go into all the sordid details, because I'm sure most of you get the idea, but there were drugs, lots of them, alcohol, lots and lots of it, promiscuity, basically, any way I could destroy myself - I tried it. I even attempted suicide during a time when I just wanted to hurt those who had hurt me. I had moved to Florida to live with my sister and to get as far away from my parents and our church as possible and so that I could live HOWEVER I wanted to! The thing that in hindesight gives me such assurance of God's hand on me is His protection during all this. Also, that even sitting in a bar surrounded by all that "stuff" I KNEW I didn't belong there. I clearly remember being wasted and praying that Jesus wouldn't come back with me there in that place. The Holy Spirit was working on me even when I was doing all I could to shut him out! After several years of this destruction I awoke one Sunday morning with one of the WORST hangover's ever, I looked at myself in the mirror and I CLEARLY heard the Lord say to me "My daughter, this IS NOT who you are!" "Come back to me, before it's too late." I IMMEDIATELY got in my car and drove to the nearest church.

God sent me to a church with a family - sorta like mine - that served young adults. I joined their Sunday school class, began attending their Monday night youth group meetings, moved in with them to get away from the "party" atmosphere I was living in and surrendered the reigns of my life back to God. I told Him I was sorry for driving the train of my life COMPLETELY off the track and He picked me up, dusted me off, and put me back on His track for my life! Now, I'd like to say at this point we rode off to our sunset, however, the enemy was NOT happy with my choice. I moved back to WV to try to restore my relationship with my parents and God led me to the TRUE love of my life - Jimmy! His grace to me in the gift of Jimmy is - well, truly AMAZING!

Jimmy and I have gone thru some very difficult times. We've been driven to our knees because we REFUSED to bend them. However, I can tell you that at this point in my life I am on the WILDEST high I've ever been on! There's no drugs or no alcohol that can even come close and believe me I KNOW what I'm talkin' about on that one!! God is my salvation. He is my hero! He is my redeemer! He is my rescuer! He has restored me from the time of the locusts! He has led me beside still waters and thru the valley of death! He has taught me and brought me by his love! Ya'll, God is real! God is alive and well! God is in control! His ways are by no means my ways and I would LOVE to have a testimony that is "squeaky clean" and not the one that I have, but again, it wasn't HIS PLAN for me! He brought me thru the things He did to use me now. I don't know exactly how or why or when, but all I do know is that I'll NEVER turn back! I'll NEVER go it alone! Been there, done that and made a WRECK of my life! Praise His name for His faithful love!

"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will NEVER be shaken." Ps 62:1-2

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Have any of you ever done a Denise Glenn Motherwise study? I came across the "Freedom for Mothers" and was going to do it but wondered if anyone had any input. Let me know...Thanks.

These times....

I'm sure by now you have all heard about the shooting in Colorado Springs. You hear about these things happening and it seems unreal. It seems like it's only happening in 3rd world countries. Not here. Not in the 'land of the free and home of the brave'. YEAH RIGHT! Why not here? Are we free? Are we brave?

These times have me thinking. Thinking that I want to be sure that all my family and all my friends know Jesus. Not just know Him, but have a love affair with Him. Sometimes I think God uses stuff like this to give us (me) a little wake up call. The REALLY weird thing is that Sunday night - I had no idea about Colorado - we were singing our final show and these 2 guys walked into the sanctuary about 1/3 of the way thru. Now, since we had so much of the "community" in our halls these guys just didn't look like "frequent" church-goers. Now, don't go gettin' huffy with me, I AM NOT judging anyone by their appearance, but it was the first time I'd ever seen an actual mohawk in my church. Ok, enough of that. You hopefully get where I'm coming from.

Anyway, as they came in I began to pray that the Lord would make them stay for the whole show and would move in their hearts if they weren't already His. IMMEDIATELY after that the Holy Spirit prompted me to pray for the safety of our church. Now, again, DON'T GO GETTIN' HUFFY! I'm in no way implying that I was afraid of these guys - I'm just telling you what the Spirit told me to do. So I did. I prayed for the safety of our entire campus. I prayed for God to thwart any plans the evil one had to shake our security. I just prayed. (all this while singing - yes, I'm a multi-tasker) When I looked back for mohawk-man and his side kick I couldn't find them. Weird. Don't have a clue if they stayed or left and I think God didn't want me to know. He just wanted me to trust Him to take care of them and of me!

So, today my heart is heavy for the folks at New Life. That church has been thru a lot in the last few years! Nothing worse than the press dragging your past into the real issue! BUGS ME!! Anyway, just pray for them. Here's an even more bizarre twist on the whole thing. The pastor, Brady Boyd and his wife Pam used to live in Dallas, before they came to New Life. Pam led a Bible Study every Tues morning for over a year which my best friend in the whole world, Kelley, attended! Kelley tells me that Pam would ask her whenever they got in touch about my sister and her kids because she was praying for them during their difficult times. So, I email Pam today to tell her who I was and to tell her I was praying for her and she immediately remembers my story and instead of telling about their tragedy begins to ask about Regina, Rachel and J.R. AMAZING! God wants His family to know, love and encourage each other! That's what we're here for!

So I ask that you all lift up the Boyd's and lift up the New Life family as they deal with this horrific tragedy! Thanks.

PS. Pray for Jennifer Hamrick too. Tony and Joleen Hyatt's daughter. She attends that church but had decided to stay home since there was so much snow and Matt had just left the week before for Iraq. Pray for Matt's safety and his swift return. You can read their story at

Monday, December 10, 2007

God's calling...again

Ya'll, I'm sure you are just about sick and tired of hearing about my "God Calling" book, but I just about can't hardly help myself! It blows my ever-lovin' mind that the Creator of the Universe. The one who spoke the worlds into existance can speak to ME every stinkin' day, as long as I take the time to hear it! BLOWS MY MIND I TELL YA!!!!

Ok, let me tell you about the CCE. It was busy, crowded and just WONDERFUL! My kids sang this year and this was the 1st time I had all 3 of them in the program and it did this momma's heart proud to see them up there saying this wasn't "Just Another Holiday"! Land sakes, I get misty just typin about it! There was a TON of "community" folks there and not so much our regular church crowd - which is the WHOLE POINT!!!! It was just great to see so many new faces and so many people stopped to tell me how much they enjoyed it and how great it was that our church would reach out to the community and to smaller churches who can't "budget" that kind of event. AWESOME, GOD work this weekend!! LOVE it!

Now, to this morning. Needless to say, I'm TOTALLY exhausted! I mean, after my kids went to school - 30 minutes late - Jimmy and I went back to sleep for another hour! He didn't have to go to work til 1 today so we just took it easy this morning. But before that I opened up my "God Calling" and what was the topic for today "The Quiet Time". It was talking about simply resting in God. That sometimes God just wants us to come to Him, to sit and be quiet. Sometimes He's quiet too and it doesn't mean there's a problem - it's just that He wants us quiet and secure in His Presence - just to be with Him.

So, I got out my Sword, opened it up and went to Hebrews 4. The beginning of this chapter is about rest. It's about resting in obedience to God and about those that will refuse to rest in their disobedience. Then I found it no small coincidence that smack in the middle of that chapter lies a gem about the Word of God being alive and active. Resting isn't laziness. Resting is quietness of spirit allowing the "double-edged sword" to penetrate, divide and judge. That blows my mind! Sure, at times we need physical rest, but more often than not, what we need is some rest of spirit after some work of the living, active, Sword of God's Word! Spend some time in it today, sista's! IT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Weekend worship

Is anyone else gettin' kinda tired of Christmas music? It's great, but it's been on since BEFORE Thanksgiving and I need some praise!!!! ENJOY!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Good morning. Just a couple of quick updates. My friend whose wife is in the hospital in another country is stable - she had a minor procedure done (how scary is that?) and is going to be able to come home with the team instead of being Medijet'd back. (How's that grammar workin' for ya? haha) Thanks for your prayers.

Also, my friends who are battling colds are hangin' in! GOD IS GOOD!

I'm doing better and not freakin' out like I was earlier this week. We had some "bumps" with my group that's singing, but God was/is BIGGER and everything is good! I'm excited for the weekend, though it's gonna be busy! My prayer is that LOST people will come and meet Jesus there. That they will see Him in those of us who are working for Him. That we will show them something that they will WANT and not something they want to get away from!! I'm anxiously waiting for Him to show up and show off!!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Much prayer needed....

Hey everyone. Like I said, WILD WEEK is here and the enemy is busy at work!

Please be in prayer not just for me but for the Charlotte Christmas Experience at our church. The enemy knows what's coming and he's doing his best to distract but I know that GOD IS BIGGER!!! Last year a man brought his mother with him who was visiting from Iran. Yes, she was Muslim. She came - begrudgingly - and didn't talk too much about it. Later in the year she became very ill. Her son went to visit her and while she was in the hospital began to question the "religion" she had practiced her whole life and began wondering about this Jesus she had heard about on her trip to Charlotte. The enemy lost one that day and so he knows we're doing our best to tell them so he's attacking.

Sunday at choir practice one of our sweet ladies became very ill and had to be transported via ambulance to the hospital right in the middle of practice. We're trying some new things with our sound system and the enemy sees this as another distraction. Another of our soloists' wife is on a mission trip this week and has been hospitalized there due to a rapid heart beat. Several of my friends are coming down with colds (several of which are soloists). So, you get the point. What we need is PRAYER!!

God is greater than illnesses! God is greater than sound systems! God is greater than any distraction the enemy has planned so please join me as we pray for the God to thwart whatever plans the evil one has!! This is a season of celebration!! We will celebrate!! We will rejoice!! Glory to the newborn King!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Weekend Worship

Lord be my shield this week!! You are my shelter, my strong tower and my help in THIS time of need! I love you Lord and I will bless your name forever!!!