Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lovin' my new book....

Oh my word. Got a new book and wanted to tell y'all about it. If you've read it, PLEASE leave me a comment to tell me what you thought of it.

It's called "Abba's Child" by Brennan Manning. Land sakes! I knew it was gonna be awesome when I spent over 2 hours re-reading the preface alone! It's about our identity in Christ. The subtitle says "The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging" LOVE that.

This blessing was in the preface written by a spiritual advisor for the author and it's become the prayer I'm praying for the ones I love. "May all your expectations be frustrated, may all your plans be thwarted, may all your desires be withered into nothingness, that you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God who is Father, Son and Spirit. Today on planet earth, may you experience the wonder and beauty of yourself as Abba's Child and temple of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Lord." AMAZING!

Let me know if you've read this and I'm sure I'll be blogging LOTS as I read this awesome book!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Don't make me bow up! haha

**edited** I don't wanna take back this post, but I do hope that the attitude you might hear from me in this post is purely in jest. I'm serious about the content, but joking in my attitude. I reread this post and realized for those people who don't know me personally it may sound like I'm being ugly, but hopefully as you read some of my other posts you'll realize I love to horse around! Just wanted to clarify that. Thanks...

Feeling a bit random today. I had a busy weekend but it was fun. Church yesterday was simply amazing! God was moving. People were coming forward to receive Christ like crazy! We even ran out of decision counselors at one of our services and a vocal team member had to leave the platform to go counsel someone who had come up!! THAT is AMAZING! God is so faithful to our church. Ya know sometimes people say things about your church that are hurtful. For instance, a couple of ladies came to my door last week to invite me to a Bible study being held at their church. Now, I'm not going to get into a debate here, I'm just tellin' ya what happened so don't anyone get their feelings hurt. Okay? Okay.

They told me they were not Mormon's or Jehovah Witnesses but that they were having a study from the Holy Bible - the Word of God - the "true Word, the King James Version" (their words not mine). That sent a BIG red flag up for me. (not gonna go there in this post, but just tellin' ya how I feel) So they went on and on about when the study was happening and where but I could feel the Lord whispering to me "hold on girl". Then one of the ladies asked if I went to church and I told her yes and where - she didn't know of my church and y'all I'm not bragging here, but if you drive down one of the biggest 'connector' roads in Charlotte and miss my church, well you better get your eyes checked. It's a big physical place.

She started telling me that she had grown up Southern Baptist but had finally learned the 'truth' once she started going to her church. My husband was raised in the denomination which she attends so I told her that and she gets this sympathetic look on her face and says "Oh, did he fall away?" To which I reply "Uh, no, he's faithfully serving at church with me and walking stronger with the Lord than ever before in his life" (I didn't want to offend her but don't be talkin' about my man! haha) I told her that, in fact, he was serving today by playing for a Billy Graham special. Using a talent given to him by the Lord to serve Him. She goes "Is Billy Graham still alive? I thought he died already" I nearly passed out!

So then she starts telling me how we Southern Baptists have it all wrong. We're wrong by not having communion every Sunday - didn't we know that's what the KJV says? (I didn't bother asking her where 'cause I sure don't remember that one) We're wrong by paying our pastor. Didn't we know that the KJV says that Jesus never got paid for preaching so why should anyone else and what about caring for the sick and shut in's? (Again, not sure where that verse in the KJV is either) I could feel myself getting defensive so I began praying that the Lord would give me the words to say, but after getting beat on I opened up and told her that's one thing I like about my church. My pastor preaches and that's it. Sure he'll do an occasional wedding or funeral and visit someone sick he knows personally, but his MAIN job is to preach the Word of God. We have other pastors on staff who care for the sick and the shut in's and the children of our church and the seniors and so on. I told her my church is a big church so we're able to do that. She goes "Well let me ask you this. Have you ever had your pastor over for dinner? Has he ever invited you to his house?" Ok, she wanted a fight. haha I said that I had not, but she had to understand that our church has 14,000 members and 2 campuses so even if our pastor had someone over every night for a year I still would only get an invite about every 3 years or so. haha

So anyway, I thanked her for the invitation to the study and told her that I was actively involved in a few studies at my church but again thanked her for her time. She walked away a bit red in the face, but I stayed calm and tried to just show her as much love as I could. I was going to invite them in and really talk, but once she started dissin' my church - well I knew myself well enough not to go there. There's a few things I'll let you diss in my presence but my Jesus, my man, my kids and my church AIN'T one of 'em! haha

So that was my excitement last week - part of it anyway. Have you ever had a situation like that? It's hard to know the right way to handle that kind of thing. It's best to slow down and ask the Holy Spirit to intervene and then don't get in His way. But it's hard to fight your emotions when someone starts 'attacking' the things you love. I don't believe for a second that Jesus expects us sit and take it, but I do believe that no matter how mean or ugly they get He expects us to show HIM to them. Hard to do when you feel backed into a corner but if we get it right I believe God does a little jig in heaven just for us! Yes, God does the jig!! haha

Anyway, with that thought in mind, I'm going to head out to hunt for some gas. Hope I can show Jesus as I'm sitting in line!!! teehee

Friday, September 26, 2008

Weekend Worship

LOVE this song! Enjoy and have some quiet time with Jesus this weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

God is so COOL!!!

Remember the name Melinda Doolittle? American Idol contestant who got robbed?! Well, this week my man was over at the Belk Theater playin drums in a video shoot for a Billy Graham special and guess who was one of the guest artists? Oh yeah! Melinda. Micheal W. Smith was there too - not that I'm not a fan of his (his music not his voice - sorry) - also Jason Crabb from the Crabb family. He also sang "I'm Amazed" with the Brooklyn Tab singers. (Yeah he's the "Hallelujah" guy at the end of the song! haha)

So anyway, Melinda was there and she is standing near my man and they have a break between takes so she asks if she could please sit on his drum stool. Her feet were killing her! IS THAT COOL OR WHAT?! So he gives her his seat and tells her what a big fan I am of hers and how I voted like crazy for her so she gives him this.....

Yes, she spelled my name right!!! teehee And how about that verse by her name. Eph 3:20 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" Do you love that?! She signed my man's music for "His Eye is on the Sparrow" which is what she's singing on the special. LOVE IT!! Anyway, just thought I'd share with the 2 of you who are reading this blog! hahaha
WOOOHOOOOO! Don't you love the way God can bring his children together? I mean, I never dreamed I'd see her in person, much less get her autograph. Although I didn't see her, my man did and he gave her his seat. THAT ROCKS!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Well my schedule is whacked out lately so I just wanted to pop on and share a God stop with you. If you've never heard of God stop you need to do a Beth Moore study! hahaha Anyway, it's a moment in time when you realize God is specifically speaking to you, He's answering a specific prayer or just sending you a hug.

So, for the next few weeks I'm gonna make it a point to give God some glory with this blog and share some of my God stops with you! For instance, I sent the call out for you to email me some changes and you were faithful! Thanks so much for the great responses. I have to tell you that I read that at different times during the week as I was preparing my lesson but it wasn't until Saturday that the Lord spoke right to me thru your responses. He completely changed the direction I was heading with the lesson and He showed me how He wanted me to use your testimonies. I had 4 points to get across (like a good little Southern Baptist - haha) and don't you know that every one of the testimonies I received fit EXACTLY with the points! I mean, I know it was God's Hand because they were PERFECT! Like if you were reading a novel and they went right with the plot! Isn't that just like God?! Using our lives to tell His-tory!! LOVE IT!! That was one of my God stops from the past week.

What about you? Any you'd like to share? Let me know. He's speaking. Are you watching and waiting?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ch, Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes....

Well. Change. There it is. The word we all love to hate. haha Mark Twain once said something like the only ones who like change are wet babies. I believe it's the truth. I know it can be scary, stressful, annoying and so many other adjectives, but one thing is for WILL come.

I know that each of us could write a novel about the changes we've been thru so I need your help. I'm teaching this Sunday and the lesson is on change. We're studying some of the changes Joseph faced in Gen 39-41. LOTS of changes for the brother. Whew. So, tell me how some of the changes in your life have increased your faith. You don't have to be specific, unless you feel led to, but just explain how circumstances in your life changed -whether at your hand or not - and how you dealt with those changes and how - looking back now - you can see the Lord worked them for your good. (Rom 8:28)

So, get your thinking caps on and leave me some good stuff! Thanks.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What a difference....

What a difference a day makes.
What a difference an hour makes.
What a difference one phone call makes.
What a difference.

Yesterday as I'm leaving the platform after leading praise and worship I pick up my stuff to go and immediately feel my purse vibrating. Knowing that means my phone is ringing I start to dig for it. When someone is calling me during church time I just knew something wasn't right. Sure enough, it was my sister Regina calling to tell me that her mother-in-law had just passed away. Dewayne's mom went to be with Jesus sometime in the early morning hours Sunday morning and this just 2 years after him losing his 37 year old sister to a heart attack. So I'm in WV right now (long story but I had to bring his other sister up from Charlotte) and arrangements are being made.

There is good news in all this. The good news is the REAL difference. The difference in Dewayne.
What a difference the LORD makes!!!
Since Dewayne accepted Christ, he is facing death completely differently. That's the difference the Lord makes. He gives us hope. Hope in knowing that we will be reunited with the ones who serve Him. Hope in knowing that they may be gone from us, but are present with the Lord. Hope that because we are His we CAN go on. HOPE. It's all the difference!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Melissa got me thinking with her post so I thought I'd share some of our conversations too.

Jimmy, the kids and I are coming home from church the other night. The music is on (as usual) so Jimmy and I start having a discussion that should've waited til we were home. Not an argument, just a disagreement. I don't really even remember what it was about - probably if we left the porch light on or not - haha - but Jimmy says something.
I respond.
He responds.
Then in true Valarie fashion I get the last word.
Silence then follows and Josh goes "Dramatic pause"!
Much laughter then ensues!!
Yes those were the words spoken by my 9 year old! Don't ya just love kids!! TOOOOO funny!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

What are we all so angry about?

I've been a tad under the weather which has allowed for WAY too much time in front of the TV today. UGH. I just have a question. What are we all so angry about? I don't watch too much junk, but between a couple of talk shows, a few news channels and even the weather channel for goodness sake, people are angry.

They're angry about politics. They're angry about politicians. They're angry about the English language and how it's used. They're angry about religion. They're angry about the stinkin' weather. Whew. I've been there, ya know. I am there at times. I know that when you get your 15 seconds on TV you're gonna tend to be the most passionate during that time, and I like to think that when they get home and see the tape they're going "Man, I really should've stayed calm" - at least that's what I'm telling myself. teehee It really has bothered me today though.

I've been praying for peace. I don't mean that to sound like a beauty pageant contestant (no offense if you've ever been one), but I mean praying for peace not just in our country, or our world, but in the hearts of individuals. The kind of peace that only comes from a one on one relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. You can't get it from a church. You can't get it from a preacher. You can't even get it from your spouse or kids or family. It only comes thru the one who gave His life that You may face the troubles in this world with peace and assurance and hope and a future.

This is a kinda random post - likely an affect of all the channel-flipping I've been doing - but I just wanted to put my thoughts out there to you 5 people reading - (there I go with the numbers again - haha) and see what you think. Tell me what you think about why people are driven to shouting at people they've only met 5 seconds prior to going on air - or have never met at all. Why do you think we get so passionate about a person running for public office yet sit in church and won't even lift our hands in praise to God? OUCH. Just wanna get you thinking today. I know I have been. I've turned off the tv, turned on some praise music and I'm gonna spend some more time with my Abba Daddy before my kids get home. I SURE don't want to face them after my morning! haha

Thursday, September 11, 2008

God is Speaking!

Well, Jimmy still doesn't have a job, but let me just tell you that God is clearly speaking to my family! Things are going ok and we have all we need! Isn't that just like Him?!

We're busy with school and my work and God has slid some things in our path to see if He will find us faithful, I believe, so we're just gonna do our best to consider it all joy and hang on!! Y'all please continue to pray. I can't wait to jump and tell all 5 of you reading this how faithful God has been in answering your prayers!!! teehee (that was just a joke - I'm not at all about numbers!)

Anyway, I'll keep on praisin' Him for the work He's doing in us. Refining us. Proving us. Molding us. LOVE it! Thanks for your continued love and support!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Shakin' things up....

My oh my. My heart is in a whirlwind today. Such an awesome day at church yesterday. The Word of God was opened and spoken and did not return void. At least not in my heart (and obviously in others too as they came forward). I had done the work to be prepared and God was faithful in doing His Work in me! LOVE IT!!!

Anyway, as I taught my little group of girls yesterday I must say that in the middle of my lesson I glanced around the room and every single girl had her eyes on me. They were listening y'all. They were engaged. It nearly took my breath away. In fact, a huge lump formed in my throat and I had to stop and get a drink to keep from crying right there. We so often think of teens as this lost, attitude carryin', smelly (well they are that) group of misfits who are just trying to think up ways to make our lives miserable. Well, I have to tell you that my attitude, my heart has been changed! In 3 short weeks the Lord has shown me pain that I don't think I could've withstood at their age, courage to go against the grain, excitement over the "little" things and joy that makes my cup run over! These girls got it goin' on. They're bright, they're beautiful, they're funny, they're truly amazing. I'm gonna talk to them about sharing some of their testimonies with some of you - of course COMPLETELY respecting their privacy and changing their names - but just telling you some of the stuff they're dealing with. AMAZING! I didn't really think that I would be able to teach them a thing - and really I don't have anything but Jesus to offer them - but last night on my way to the car one of my girls shouted across the parking lot - LIFE ISN'T FAIR SOMETIMES MS. VAL! (that was our topic) Can you imagine? I mean, here we were nearly 8 hours past our lesson and she still remembered!! PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!

So last night, Dr. Rummage issued another challenge. Oh boy, y'all better get ready. It was PAINFUL! More to come this week.....

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Every single Christian should watch this video.......

This video blew me away! I found myself watching it over and over. This was the 2nd time this week I've heard a clear warning to be careful that when you think you're standing, you may just be sinking.

Father, forgive me for ever trying to stand in my own power. Empower me with Your Right Hand and keep the words of my mouth, the sounds in my ears, the path of my feet solely focused on You Alone. To You alone be all glory, and honor and wisdom and power!! Thank you Lord!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Words we never wanna hear....

Before I start let me just say thanks to everyone for your encouraging words with my SS class. I sat down to really dig into Joseph last night and the Lord was giving me things over and over. I can't wait! He's so good!

So, things we don't want to hear. I'm angry at you. I'm disappointed in you. You hurt me. I can't. I won't. I don't. Not fun things. Sunday night at church Dr. Rummage was continuing in the saga of David. We're in 2 Sam 11 - not one of David's shining moments. You know, the whole Bathsheba/Uriah incident. Ugh. I have to admit that I get such encouragement from David. I mean, here's a guy who started with nothing - a little guy with some pretty strapping, studly big brothers who is stuck tending to sheep. His storyline moves and changes pretty dramatically and by the time we get to 2 Sam 11 he's a king for cryin' out loud.

I know that you're all familiar with the story but Sunday night something hit me HARD. It's 2 Sam 11:27b "But the thing David had done displeased the Lord." In fact, it says "the LORD" meaning Yahweh was displeased. Ouch. I kinda zoned out after Dr. Rummage read that verse because I just started thinking about all the times that verse has said "But the thing Valarie had done displeased Yahweh". I began asking the Lord to reveal things that I hadn't repented of or things in me that were displeasing to Him and He was faithful to oblige. We did some work sittin' right there in the pew. God is so good y'all. I mean, really good.

So often I lose my focus. I allow my stuff to distract me from His plans for me. I get in His way SOOOO many times. I have displeased Him on more than one occasion, I'm sure. But God is so loving, so kind and so gentle to just say "Hey girl, I really want to help you or work with you on this thing, but there's some cleanin' we need to do first. I can't work with what you're giving me." So then we start again. He's new every morning or in my case, hour by hour.

Lord, thank you for cleanin' my clock again and again. I want my life to honor and glorify You alone. I want to be your servant Lord. Thank you for making a way for me. Thank you for using me.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tough Crowd

Yesterday was an AWESOME day of worship! Land sakes. I was filling in on vocal team and yes that can be stressful at times, and amazing at others but it really wasn't the best part of my day yesterday. It was my 2nd Sunday teaching - actually assisting - and it has surpassed any of my expectations so far. These girls BLOW my mind, y'all. I don't really know what I expected but I thought they would just sit there with their typical teenage facial expression of "these are just about the stupidest people I have ever seen" but it wasn't that way at all. Ok, well maybe a little at times - haha - but it has been incredible.

I'm telling you that these kids are hungry. Starving actually. For love and affection, for attention and I don't mean just to be noticed, but to be heard. They're so smart and for the most part have it much more together than I did at their age. Or at least that's the way it seems. Anyway, next week is my turn to teach - UGH. Scary. It's gonna be fine because I can do ALL things thru Christ. Even make 12 9th grade girls learn something about God! Not in my own power but thru the power of Christ!! I CAN!!!

We've got a busy day planned today so I gotta get with it, but just wanted to ask you to pray for me as I prepare this week. Pray the Lord will give me something totally fresh for these girls. Also, continue to pray for Jimmy as he's still on the hunt for a job. God is faithful. That's all I can say about that! Thanks for praying.