Monday, November 24, 2008


This week has been interesting to say the least.  Thanks to all of you who have committed prayers for our family this week with the death of my uncle.  Please continue to remember my grandmother especially, since her brother passed away this morning.  My uncle was like a son to her, and she was very close to her brother.  My mamaw is a wonderful person, and we agreed tonight that even though it is a sad Thanksgiving week for us, we can be thankful that both of these men are for sure with the Lord.  I praise God for the peace that comes from knowing that they are in a better place.

I am also thankful this week for my husband and our children, who bring so much light to our lives.  When Emily saw Uncle Clint's body tonight at the funeral home, she noticed his hands (the hand with the missing finger was covered by his other hand).  Emily got so excited and said "He must be in heaven now!  He got his finger back!!"  How precious!

Ashlyn has such a great outlook as well.  The other night we got a surprise snow.  We were headed to my brother's house, and as were getting out of the car, Ashlyn confidently told Jason, "The weatherman didn't say it was going to snow, but God did, and He's all-powerful!  He's in charge!  He's the judge!"  How true and sweet, especially coming from a seven year old!

I have much to be thankful for, including how God has worked so much in my life in the recent years.  He has changed my heart so much, and even though I have so much to learn, I am so thankful for His patience and love towards me.  He answers my prayers in ways I could never anticipate, and it is always better than anything I would have ever imagined.  What are you thankful for?  Take time this week to notice the ways, big and small, where He is working in your life--and give thanks!

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Tribute of Sorts

Yesterday evening my Uncle Clint passed away.  He had a massive stroke on January 7, 2008, so needless to say it has been a rough year for him and his family.  I know that he is so much better now.  I know that.  But it doesn't mean I won't miss him!  In reflecting on his life, I thought of a couple of funny stories I wanted to mention.  

I have shared this first one with several people, because it's my favorite!!  A long time ago, I don't even know when, Uncle Clint lost his index finger.  For as long as I can remember he only had a little stump.  When I was a little girl I would ask him what happened to his finger, and his answer was always the same:  "I was picking my nose one day and a booger ate it off!"  I don't know why, but I never questioned it, and to this day I could not tell you what really happened.  I've been told for sure, but I can only remember the booger story!!!  :)

I always loved visiting Aunt Shirley and Uncle Clint many times when they lived in Ohio.  One morning, as Uncle Clint was getting ready to go to work, I remember him walking up the hallway asking Aunt Shirley if she had "manufactured" his lunch.  I thought that was so funny!  He always had a way of saying things!

The best thing I'll remember about Uncle Clint is his gentle spirit.  He was always so good to me, as well as the rest of the family.  He always had a way of letting you know you were special to him, and I really felt like he meant it.  Just over a year ago, not long before his stroke, my cousin (his son) came up to record a few songs for me.  We were set up at church and were there pretty much all day.  Uncle Clint sat on the front row for much of the recording session, just listening.  The other part of the day, when my kids were getting restless, he played with them so that we could finish the recording.  I'll always remember that.

The day that my dad called to tell me about Uncle Clint's stroke, it was so sad.  I'll never forget going to see him at the hospital, wondering if he would make it through the day.  I remember sitting among my family members, wanting to do something to encourage him.  I felt impressed to sing a particular song to him, so even though I felt a little awkward at first, I knew I would regret it if I didn't do it.  So I held his hand and through tears, sang these words, "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives, all fear is gone, because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living, just because He lives."  Even though he was barely responsive, I felt him kind of pull me close when I finished.  I will never forget it.  

Please remember our family in prayer during this time, especially Aunt Shirley and their kids and grandkids.  Even though we will miss him so much, really only grieve for ourselves, since we know that he is in a much better place.  What a comfort to know that we'll see him again one day "because He lives".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Follow Your Heart?

How many times have you heard this phrase:  "Just follow your heart."  What does that really mean?  Does it mean we should do what we know is right?  Does it mean we should do what we feel?  I am inclined to think that for most people, following the heart means acting on our deepest feelings.  We have been made to believe that following our dreams or following our "heart" is what will bring true fulfillment and happiness.  Our world is saturated with this "positive" message.  We see it everywhere from movies to books to reality shows to commercials.  

Have you ever read what the Bible says about the "heart"?  Jeremiah 17:9 says, 
The heart is more deceitful than all else and 
desperately sick.  
Who can understand it?

Desperately sick??  


When I read that scripture, I am reminded of the stark contrast between the message of the world and the message of the Word.  According to the Bible, following the heart can be a very dangerous thing.  But with so much emphasis being placed upon it for the "good-doers" of the world, where else do we turn?  The answer is found in Galatians 5:16, 
But I say, walk by the Spirit, 
and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

God never tells us to follow our hearts, only to follow the Holy Spirit.  Our hearts simply can't be trusted!  Only God's Spirit is steadfast.  How do we know the difference?  We start with fixing our minds on things above by reading His Word, praying/listening to Him and seeking Him daily.  

It is sometimes very difficult, but when we choose to follow the Spirit instead of our own hearts, God promises that we will receive His blessing and peace.  There is nothing that will bring greater fulfillment or happiness than that.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Have you ever felt alone in your trials?  I have.  There have been times, even recently, when I felt like my prayers were hitting the ceiling and then just coming right back down.  I felt like God was ignoring me--like He was doing great things for everyone except for me.  I felt like my prayers were not being answered.

Do you see the common phrase in all of those statements?  I felt.  My relationship and trust in God has to be more that feelings.  I recognize that the enemy desperately wants me to lose faith in my God.  He lies to me and tells me that God isn't there.  Sadly, so many times I have believed this lie and grown angry at my Lord because I felt so alone.  

In marriage, there may be seasons where love may not be felt as strongly.  These are the times when one must rely on the commitment that has been made before God and men.  So it is with God.  I have committed my life to Him, therefore, even when I don't feel like He is doing His part, I am called to remain committed to His work and put my faith into action--believing though I can't see...or feel.  

This morning as I was reading a passage that I've probably read a dozen or more times, a truth stood out to me that was so encouraging.  It reminded me that not only am I NEVER ALONE, God is also doing a work in my life.  Here it is:

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

We can't always see exactly what God is up to in our lives, but we can know a few things.  Number one, He won't leave us.  Number two, we are to look towards and live for things eternal.  And Number three, we are getting closer to death while getting closer to life.  Every day our physical body is one day closer to death.  Yet also every day our soul is closer to eternal life.  We are decaying outwardly, yet being renewed inwardly.  That's why we should not lose heart.  God has a purpose, and it is for our ultimate perfection when we go to be with Him one day.  He cares about this purpose (truth) so much that He will risk our feelings (false) towards Him to accomplish it.  I am so THANKFUL for His patience with me!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Jesus Prom

Last night I had the privilege of singing at the Jesus Prom again.  It's really a great time and such a great outreach.  For those who have never heard of it, it is a "prom" for special needs folks, where they come together at Southland Christian Church, dress up, dance and have a great time.  There is a part of the evening when the lights go up, the Gospel is presented, and the participants are given a gift--this year a cross necklace.  There are also lots of volunteers who come out and decorate, mix in with the crowd, and all kinds of other stuff that I'm sure I don't even know about.

I'm part of a band that does some fun music from decades past, and we have had the opportunity to play at the Jesus Prom for the past 5 years.  It's such a blessing to be there, and especially to realize the effort and time that so many people put into such an event, which is geared to show the love of Christ to those who are many times brushed aside from the "in" of society.

It's fun for me personally, because, well, I enjoy singing with the band, but also because it's great to be a part of such a massive event that has such a great purpose.  I pray that lives were touched last night, but especially that some met Jesus for the first time.  That's what it's all about! 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Standing in the River

If it seems like there has been a bit of space between my blogs these days, it's because there has been.  I blame it on my sister visiting from Texas.  It's like we're trying to cram all of this stuff into a short amount of time because we rarely get to spend time together, so who has time for writing?  :)  They are leaving tomorrow, so I suppose life will resume to "normal".  But we have had so much fun while they have been home.


Today I wanted to share a word from Joshua 3.  I was reminded of this passage yesterday as I was pondering an argument that Jason and I had that morning.  To get on a personal level, we both struggle with harboring resentment and grudges towards the other when we feel we've been wronged.  He shared with me yesterday that He had prayed about letting go of his anger and being able to forgive me, but that he wasn't able to actually do it until we were working out the issue and we prayed together.  So what does that have to do with Joshua?

In the passage mentioned, God gave Joshua very specific instructions about how he was to get into the Promised Land.  He told the people to cross the Jordan River, but not to move until they saw the Ark of the Covenant on the move.  But for the priests who were bearing the Ark, this command was given:  "When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan....the waters of the Jordan will be cut off and.....will stand in one heap."

You see?  God promised them a way to get across the Jordan River, but they had to first stand still in the water before God did the miracle.  This applied to us in a practical way, because to me, forgiveness is a miracle of the heart.  I firmly believe that God will help us, but sometimes we must take that first step to show that we are willing to put ourselves aside.  I don't believe it's because God won't help us when we are "stuck", because sometimes He miraculously pulls us out of the pit when we are weak.  But rather it's to reveal our motives and willingness to obey.  It's not always the physical action that God looks at; it's the attitude of the heart (which usually brings about action).  What do you think?  This is really food for thought.  I don't have it all figured out, I just like to take stuff like this and chew on it for a while.  I encourage you to read Joshua 3 and think about what it means in light of Christ in your life.  I would love to hear what you think!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our 'Cabbage' in the Smokies

Laurel Falls

One of the Footbridges on the Nature Trail

The Grandkids!

We had such a great time this weekend in the Smoky Mountains!  The whole family was there, except for Will, who will be arriving home from China tonight.

We rented a cabin that was big enough for all of us to stay together, so when we first got there, Emily just kept exclaiming, "I LOVE our cabbage (cabin)!  I just LOVE our cabbage!!"  We couldn't bring ourselves to correct her!!

Another one of the highlights (for everyone but me it seems), was the sighting of a black bear, scurrying down from a tree.  It then took off through the woods after Jason screamed, "There's a bear!!!"  Jason said he didn't realize how fast bears could actually run until he saw it take off.  Unfortunately, I missed the bear altogether.  Jason is always making jokes, so when he screamed, I just looked at him and thought he was making it up.  Turns out he was telling the truth that time.

We only hiked a couple of easy trails, but considering that we had seven small children with us, that was pretty good for the amount of time we were there.  On the first one, we followed a scavenger hunt of some of the natural highlights of the trail.  That made it interesting and fun!

The kids were absolutely worn out, and so were we, but we made lots of good memories and the weather was great.  Smoky Mountain National Park is one of my favorite places to visit, so I always look forward to the trip down south.  Good times!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Well, with the election finally over, I must say that today I have been very much at peace.  Disappointed, but at peace.  I am still unsure of what lies ahead.  From the things I have heard, read and seen, I can't help but wonder what our country will look like four years from now.  My first reaction is negative, but I will not worry.  I know for certain that God has allowed this, and even though I don't understand, it doesn't change who God is and what He is doing.  

This morning I broke the news to Ashlyn that Obama would be our next president.  So tonight, as I was putting the girls to bed, she prayed, "Lord, we don't know why you chose Obama to be our president, but we pray that He would do things that You want Him to do."  She nailed it!  We must pray for him, as well as all of our state and national leaders.  Agree or disagree, it comes down to whether or not we are being obedient to God's Word.  Love your enemies.  Do good to those that persecute you.  Pray for those in authority.  As far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.  This is the bottom line for Christians.  If we want change, let's go from the inside out.  

I believe wholly in the faithfulness and sovereignty of my Lord.  He is so much bigger than my finite mind can comprehend.  I rest in the assurance that I don't have to understand, but just follow and obey.  I urge you to pray, as I am, for America and for our leaders.  And pray for the church, that we would be united and TRULY show the world what God's love is all about.  Now THAT would be change you can believe in!

Monday, November 3, 2008

My King

He who loves his life loses it
And he who hates his life in this world
Will keep it to life eternal.
John 12:25

I have read that scripture so many times in the past, but today when I read it, it hit me hard.  I think maybe it was the part about "in this world".  With everything going on, and all the uncertainty of what's to come, it brings such peace to know that the Person in whom I REALLY have hope.....actually IS the King above all kings. 

I have found great encouragement the past few days, just in talking with people who love God, about how no matter what happens in this life, Christ is the Solid Rock that will stand for all time.  He will not be moved.  He will not be shaken.  He is in total control.  It's difficult to understand how people can move around and breathe without knowing that kind of peace.  Sadly, many just try to fill the void with falsehoods and idols, unaware that they are playing into the hands of the great deceiver.  I am so thankful to God that I can depend on His promises and deliverance.  

In the next few verses of John 12, Jesus speaks of His death, saying, "My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'?  But for this purpose I came to this hour.  Father, glorify Your name."  It just makes me think about how Jesus, being human, was surely horrified at what was to come.  But He KNEW it had to happen.  He knew it was His purpose.  His main concern was that God would be glorified.  

I pray that God would help me to have more of a heart like Christ.  Yes, I will pray steadily against the schemes of the enemy, as I believe we all should.  But at the same time, I will not forget that God must and WILL be glorified, no matter what has to happen.  For a short time, the cross was a victory symbol for the enemy.  But now, it is and has been the victory symbol of our Savior - and us.  Who can know the mind of God?  He is sovereign, and He will be victorious.


Just wanted to remind everyone to be praying, and if possible, fasting today for our nation as we are facing what is probably the most important Election Day of our lives.  

Pray for God's mercy.
Pray for wisdom for our leaders.
Pray, knowing that God is sovereign over all.  We desire for Him to be glorified, no matter the outcome tomorrow.

A couple of posts down is a prayer guide that might be helpful.