Lisa, Paula, Kelly Minter, Alyssa, Dana, and Paige Me and Margaret Feinberg Sophie a.k.a. "Boomama" and me-- Love her!!! The team plus Molly at Cantina Laredo--tableside guac and best chips evah!! Paige, Paula, Me, Lisa, and Alyssa
We're "Basptists" ya know...according to our "typo"shirts (Bright and shiny people trusting in supernatural Truth!)
T-rav, always a fan favorite. He blessed us with an unscheduled "meet and greet."
MOMENTum! Ephesians 5:15-16 "Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk--not as unwise people but as wise--making the most of the time, because the days are evil." This was my 4th year to attend the forum. Wit Woo!!! My take home message and goal for women's ministry summed up in a sentence (or 3) would be to build a bridge for our women to cross over from the church into the community in order to be the hands and feet of Christ. Yes, we will continue with bible study as the anchor for the women but we have to "hook 'em up" so that they can use their gifts in profound ways. Ministries are waiting to be birthed. Maybe the WEM team members are just midwives/labor and delivery nurses! LORD, give us wisdom and show us where to plug in. Isaiah 58 says in v. 7, "Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? v. 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn and YOUR healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. v.10b And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday."
This summer/fall season (2009) has been strange yet amazing at the same time. We found out in June that our house (the original part was built in 1948 and the addition in 1992) had a SERIOUS problem. The older section was about to undergo some "cosmetic" work on the wood trim and whatnot....or so I thought. When our construction person begin to remove some of the wood trim, he unveiled a MAJOR problem. Water had been flowing under our house to the point of moving the foundation an 1 1/2 inches and the wood that protects it was completely rotten from old termite and new water damage. We were looking at a big restoration project that needed immediate attention. We agreed with Matt and gave him permission to do whatever needed to be done. Spiritual application? I actually began to pray and ask God over the next few days exactly what He was trying to teach us. I asked Him if there was something in me and Mike that needed restoring or what problem in us might He be exposing. The answer I got as I prayed face down in my closet was this: the church. Wowsa. The church? The church. My church. It actually made sense because of some "things" that I had sensed, perceived and seen over the last few weeks and months. Without going into detail, let's just say that I began to pray for a work of restoration to be done in my church in order to eradicate the "serious problem" and to be restored to original condition or as close to it as we could get. I have continued to pray fervently over the months and as my house has been completed with foundation restoration, new drainage system to keep water and moisture from collecting under the house, new replacement windows, new cement siding to replace all of the wood, new deck railing with timber tech product, new landscaping......well actually we are still waiting on the landscaping. I believe God has shown me that He will not plant until the WEM has recognized its problem, confessed it, repented of it and been healed. Then He will replant. It is His way of keeping me in tune with the work that He is doing so I am not left guessing. It is a spiritual parallel in order to show me the progress. I met with the landscaper last week to go over the new plans. He thought he would be able to start today (Thurs., June 4th). I knew, however, that he would not be able to start until WEM leadership had been addressed and as of today that has not totally happened. It has helped me to be supernaturally patient with the landscaper because I know that God will not release him to plant until which time God is planting the new, restored WEM. Your timing, LORD. Not mine.
Married in 1959 and after all these years still lookin' fine! 50 years of marriage--Congrats mom and dad!!! The Greenbrier Dad in the President's Cottage posing by a pic with General Omar Bradley (his former boss) chocolate milkshake bliss Mike, me, mom and dad at the "Spring House"
Lauren, Joel and Margeaux on July 13th (3 days old) Mike is lovin' this! It's his birthday!!! Mike's first grandchild! (3 days old) Muffy, Grand Pah' pa, and Margeaux After lunch on Sat., Aug. 15th, 2009 (5 weeks old) Auntie M and Margeaux The princess has her first wave! 5 weeks old Such the punkin'doodle! Why do you take my picture so many times??!!!
The perfect place to leave my index cards Close-up of Aug. 1-15 verse Isaiah 55:10-11
The following is a list of my memory verses for the 2009 LPM Siesta Scripture memorization deal (a "palooza" of sorts) that is going down as we speak in order to foster accountability as we deliberately saturate our minds with God's Word! The following are a list of the verses I have chosen to memorize.
Jan. 1-15 Isaiah 33:6 NIV
"He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure."
Jan. 15-31 2 Corinthians 9:8NIV
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
Feb. 1-15 Romans 15:4 NIV
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."
Feb. 15-28 Malachi 3:16 NIV
"Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored His Name."
March 1-15 Hebrews 10:35-36 NIV
"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised."
March 15-31 1 Peter 3:9 NIV
"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."
April 1-15 Psalm 36:507a The MSG
"God's love is meteoric, His loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, His verdicts oceanic. Yet in His largeness no thing gets lost; not a man, not a mouse slips through the cracks. How exquisite Your love, O God!"
April 15-30 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 NIV
"What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of this world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away."
May 1-15 Matthew 7:24-25 NIV
"Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet is did not fall because it had its foundation on the Rock."
May 15-31 Psalm 33:22 NIV
"May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you."
June 1-15 Psalm 112:1-8 NIV
"Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in His commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blesses. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.
Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His hears is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes."
July 1-15 Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV
"You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
July 15-31 Romans 16:17-18 NIV
"I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our LORD Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery, they deceive the minds of naive people."
August 1-15 Isaiah 55:10-11 NIV
"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that is yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is MY Word that goes out from My mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
August 15-31 2 Kings 18:31a
"Don't listen to Hezekiah-- he doesn't know what he's talking about. Listen to the king of Assyria--deal with me and live the good life."
(classic lie of the enemy!)
September 1-15 1 Samuel 15:22 NIV
But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams."
September 15-30 Revelation 17:14 NIV
"They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because He is the Lord of lords and King of kings--and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers."
Oct. 1-15 John 14:21 NIV
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My father and I too will love him and show Myself to him."
Oct. 15-31 Psalm 91:1-16
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."
3 Surely, He will save you from the fowlers snare and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night nor the arrow that flies by day nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you make the Most Hight your dwelling--event the LORD, who is my refuge--
10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 "Because he loves Me," says the LORD., "I will rescue him' I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.
15 He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.
Nov. 1-15 Ephesians 5:15-16 HCSB Lifeway Women's Ministry National Leadership Forum
"Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk--not as unwise people but as wise-- making the most of the time, because the days are evil."
Nov. 15-30 Galatians 3:11
"The righteous will live by faith." (NIV)
"The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him." (MSG)
Dec. 1-15 John 1:34 (NIV)
"I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."
Dec. 15-31 Psalm 27:4 (NIV)
"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple."
I love the visual map of thinking of my spiritual journey to the Promised Land as a trip that began when I left Egypt(salvation) and trekked across the desert. I am going to skip the trip details for now and concentrate on my journey just across the Jordan. Yes, how I got to that point is just as important but the decision to let God take me across that river into my earthly Promised Land is what I have been thinking a lot about lately. On February 3, 2004 (2/3/04) Mike and I flew home from Naples, Florida. On that flight we both signed a statement of resolve or a covenant if you will that basically said, "LORD, we promise to lay down alcohol for the rest of our lives on this earth. We know that this will be difficult but we know You are calling us to this. We will definitely need You to help us. We can not do this on our own. We sign this today not knowing what life will look like from here but we believe that you will guide us down this road." And we signed it. It was difficult to do and much thought and wrestling went into the decision. It was by far the scariest thing we had done to date with our God. All I can say five years later is that I have NO REGRETS WHATSOEVER. I know we have seen the favor of God in this new "land" and He has been undeniably gracious and generous. I truly believe that had we not "crossed over" we would have the love of God but not the favor and opportunities He has blessed us with. It seems to me that most likely in every one's life they will come to this river and decide if they will indeed allow God to usher them over. I think that it is a very difficult thing for each individual to exercise their faith at this place. I know it was for us. We actually wrestled for over two years from the first time I heard God calling me to lay the thing down. I was in Cincinnati with Mike's office staff along with some friends who were at the Living Proof Live Event with Beth Moore at the US Bank Arena in July 2002. At the beginning of the conference she talked about how God would have us "lay some things down." I KNEW He was speaking to me about alcohol. I also had just read how George W. Bush quit drinking on his 40th birthday. I was just about to turn 40. I whined in my Spirit about how I thought God was calling me to do the same at age 40. Yeeesh! Not what I wanted to hear at all. Mike and I cut way back after all of this and by Christmas of 2003 we didn't drink at all. However, we reserved the right to drink on very special occasions. We basically did what God wanted with some strings attached. But on our trip to the Ritz Carlton in Naples at the end of Jan., 2004, we had some wine with dinner. And God began to speak. Through food cooked in a clay pot (Lev 6:28), dolphins that came to within 5 feet of the shore, a mysterious fog that came out of nowhere as we walked on the beach. And an awful "oppression" that set in to the point that I knew something was not right. We made the connection and on our last night there and we did not drink. I was so stinkin' mad and in a horrible mood at dinner. The next day on our flight home is when we signed the deal with God. There is some kind of accountability factor when you make a promise or vow to God and then sign a statement of resolve to not drink EVER again in this lifetime. Literally, a reverence, respect and healthy fear of the LORD serves as a reminder of just Who you are dealing with. Enough said. We were motivated because we had signed on the dotted line. Very scary. The first year was the most difficult but we did it. Two months after our commitment we went to an AAOS meeting in San Francisco but not without traveling first to one of my favorite places on the planet--Carmel, as in Pebble Beach Golf, as in Spanish Bay Resort. I was concerned if we could resist out in Cali but we did it! On our one year anniversary of not drinking, God blessed us with a painting for our bedroom. I had seen this painting several months before at an art show in Central Park. But Mike was out of town and I didn't want to buy it without his opinion. Just so happened, God timed it so we would buy it and pick it up on the one year anniversary. And it just so happened to look like Naples, FL, but with a river which I am calling the "Jordan River" to symbolize our crossing. (No Transjordanian holding back here!) He is so into dates and anniversaries and "showing up" to reveal His love to us. Looking back, I know it was important for us to stop drinking alcohol. When Jason died in Feb. 2006, God was our sustainer. I know we would have headed straight for the wine upon hearing the news of his tragic death but it wasn't to be because GOD was all we needed!!! Psalm 4:7 says, "You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound." This, my friend, is soooo true!!
Psalm 18:18-19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me. Psalm 18:16-17 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. Psalm 18:15 The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of breath from your nostrils. Psalm 18:14 He shot His arrows and scattered the enemies, great bolts of lightning and routed them. Psalm 18:13 The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded.
WHAT NOT TO THINK!!!! Christie, Me, Paula, Kathy, Julz, Connie (absent Tammy and Lisa)
Jennifer Rothschild's new bible study is the study of choice for the summer. It's all about a making over our thought closets. I'm only on week 2 and boy, is God exposing some things I really hadn't recognized I had been meditating on which are big fat lies!!! Here are a few examples just from this week: "I need help, I'm exhausted, I have too much responsibility, there will always be walls up between me and ______and_______." Lord, thank You for exposing these subtle thoughts of mine that are lies. I have all the help I need in You and I can do all things through You. I have all the energy I need in You and You are an expert in tearing down walls. Do it!!! Glorify Your Name in my life. May I be transformed by the renewing of my mind with Your truth. I guess that will make me a "transformer." Megan Fox what, what?!!
In March 2008, we spent spring break at Ormond Beach where my parent's have a condominium. Mike had been prompting my mom to let him know if any unit became available in a particular building that he watched being built back in 2002 that had always peaked his interest. She made a call and arranged for us to look at some units in a couple of other buildings but not the one he was truly interested in. So we met with the realtor and had fun "looking" at a couple of condo's that were on the market. We inquired of Mike's dream building and found out that that there was one unit for sale in the 14 unit building. She arranged for us to see it later that afternoon. Molly and Kevin went with us and we were very blessed to see the beautiful 3 bdrm, 2 and 1/2 bath oceanfront unit. Honestly, we were not completely serious about purchasing the place because the price was extremely inflated and it did not make good financial sense. I had no peace about "investing" in such a place because it was so expensive and I ruled it out immediately. Mike began to ask God to take the thought of this place away from him as to not be preoccupied with anything that was not from Him. Over the next few months Mike said he continued to ask God to remove the thought of this condo from him and take it captive but it kept coming back to his mind. He asked for my support in prayer so I honored him and also began to pray for God's will. In July, he looked at the realtor's website and saw that the unit dropped $100,000. He mentioned it to me and I pondered it a bit and thought that was somewhat significant but still not really in our range. Nothing else was mentioned about it until four months later when I received a phone call from Mike in Nov., 2008, while I was attending the Lifeway Women's Ministry Forum in Nashville. Mike excitedly told me that he felt led to check out the condo scenario online and found that it had dropped in price another $100,000. I immediately felt some excitement as I believed that it was now in a reasonable range that could warrant investing in. He asked me to fervently pray. He was beginning to believe that God had not taken the thought from him perhaps for a good reason. After I got home from the conference, we discussed the matter and we both continued to ask God if He was leading us to do something like make an offer on the condo. At this point in our lives, we did not want to step outside of His will for anything after the work He had done in our lives. We wanted to be smack in the middle of His plan for us no matter what. We were not about to make a move unless we heard crystal clearly from Him. Well, He spoke on the evening of November 20th!!! I had driven to Morehead to have dinner with Molly on that day which also happened to be what would have been Jason's 27th birthday. God had always done something super special for us on significant "Jason" days. On what would have been his 25th birthday (11/20/06), He allowed us to get a new flat tv screen for the khaki room (Jason would have wanted us to have it we told ourselves, haha). And around Christmas of 2007, we wanted to get a wii but couldn't seem to locate one because at that time they were at the height of their popularity peak and there was a big supply and demand problem. But later we realized that we weren't supposed to have one yet because God wanted to bless us with one on the day He chose in order to reveal His precious love to us. So on the 2nd anniversary of his death, we found out that the South Point Walmart had 5 in stock. Mike even finished work unusually early that day so were able to go immediately and pick it up. By His grace, we connected the dots! Now back to Nov. 20, 2008! After returning home from my evening with Molly, I spent some time with Mike before I jumped on the computer to read the Beth Moore blog. Her blog that day was a video of her thanking the people who prayed for her and the "Breaking Free" re-taping that had taken place in New Orleans the week before. I took the "thank you" personally because I had just been in New Orleans the weekend before she and the Lifeway team came to town and I, too, had prayed. At the end of the blog video, she read from Isaiah 61. She prayed these words over all who had prayed. "Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs." Isaiah 61:7 I immediately thought of the condo and that a condo could be a type of "double portion." I went upstairs to get Mike and I told him that I thought I had just gotten a Word from God on the condo. I replayed the video for him and after he heard it he said, "I think you might be right." Actually, we knew God had spoken to us through Beth's video. The Holy Spirit made sure that we didn't miss the word! We prayed and the next day Mike had peace about making an offer. I began to look into the "double portion" concept and my NIV study bible said this: the firstborn son received a double share of the inheritance which was interesting because the word came on what would have been Mike's firstborn son's 27th birthday. I knew God was blessing us but I didn't and still don't understand it all. But without a doubt, God gave us a green light to purchase the unit. It took almost 2 months before the deal was finalized but all throughout the waiting period we were patient. We didn't manipulate the situation by making phone calls when it seemed that the owners were taking a long time to respond. We had put it all in God's hands and really didn't think too much about it. In His time, they accepted our 2nd offer which was exactly the price Mike believed God had revealed to him that we would get it for. And it was actually below the market value so it was a good value as far as investments go. We closed on it in mid January of this year. We are ecstatic and excited to see how God is going to allow us to use it for His glory. He gave me a "condo" word to keep me in check as far as decorating and potential "overshopping" were concerned. It says, "The time is short.... those who buy something, (use it) as if it were not theirs to keep, those who use the things of this world, (use them) as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away." (1 Cor. 7:29b-31) Trust me, I needed this word to lead me through the process of furnishing the place and it did! I was able to make decisions without having to explore every option on the market which was uncharacteristic of me (I pondered new kitchen countertop options for our home in Ky. for 3 years before I finally decided to go with Ceasarstone quartz).
I also should mention that in my spirit, I knew this new place had a bigger purpose than just a great place to vacation and rest with family and hang out with mom and dad. I believe that God wants me and Mike to pray for a Daytona revival to take place in the area (from Palm Coast to Port Orange). I mentioned this to Mike on Feb. 21, 2009, which was the first time he and I actually stayed in the condo together since we bought it. The very next day at FBC Daytona, the guest pastor, Dr. Paul Vasquez spoke out of Jonah and talked about reviving this entire city!!!! Talk about confirmation! God gave us a place to live there because we will be working for Him there! We went forward that morning in church and prayed with Jerry Webb about the revival and our part in it.
One other part I feel led to divulge is that when Mike told me a few years back that he was feeling led to do medical missions, I thought in my heart that we would end up in Africa. Mike never got the Africa word. That was all me. I struggled with this for approximately 3 years before completely surrendering my life to God wherever He called us. At the Lifeway National Women's Ministry Forum in Nashville last Nov. 2008, I heard Kelly Minter speak on Abraham's "fear God" test in Genesis 22. Long story short, she talked about how Abraham had gotten some of the details wrong. For instance, he told Isaac that "God Himself would provide the lamb for the burnt offering." When in all actuality God, in Abraham's case, provided a "ram" for the sacrifice. Right then and there God spoke to me. When she said that Abraham had gotten some details wrong, the thought occured to me that I, too, had possibly gotten some details wrong. Maybe God had never said the "A" word. Maybe that was just me speculating. I believe God made sure that my detail confusion had been cleared up just in time for the "double portion" green light word so I would have peace to proceed. Because for the longest time, I kept thinking how could it be God leading us to buy a condo in Florida if we are eventually going to end up in Africa?! Didn't make any sense. But then it did and I realized that God had "passed me" on my "fear God" test. I agreed to go wherever and if it meant my death in Africa for His Kingdom, I finally said I was totally cool with that....similar to when Abraham agreed to sacrifice his one and only son, then God knew he had Abe's heart and Isaac was off the hook and Abe didn't have to go through with it. God only tested him to see if he would. Once he had made up his mind to follow God no matter what, the issue was settled. This was a huge work He accomplished in me over a 3-4 year period that delivered me from my fear of death. At a Michael W. Smith concert in 2008, he sang "Healing Rain" and on the chorus where it says, "I'm not afraid, I'm not afraid" I belted it out as God was driving the "fear" out of me. As it turns out, Mike is doing medical missions--from his very office. His practice is a mission field and He certainly points people to Christ and prays with them daily since God began spilling over into his practice back in 2001-ish. Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest! (John 4:35)
Jeremiah 32:8-9a "I know that this was the word of the LORD so I bought the field (condo)."