Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cash Express

Processing this CHRISTmas has begun as I clean up boxes, tissue paper and bows and put them in their proper places. We aren't into saving whales and such at my house but everyone knows the importance of and often shouts out while people are opening their gifts, "save the bows." Bows are not on the extinction list or anything but it is an important cause and everyone in my house knows our position on this. As I sifted through the "stuff" to discern trash from treasure, I came upon an envelope that was specifically designed to hold money. I opened it up knowing that more than likely the receiver of this gift had in NO WAY forgotten to grab the loot and sure enough, it was empty of cash that was most likely tucked away safely in said wallet. But as I pondered why the actual card and envelope were not worthy of keeping as well, a thought occurred to me. I, too, have made sure to grab what was inside while disregarding the message my heavenly Father had given me. What I mean to say is that I am so very quick to receive a gift while leaving behind the card it came in which is just as much a part of the gift. God blesses us frequently and we are quick to get the blessing out of the package while leaving the card. In other words, all we want is what HE can give us without getting HIM. In this scenario, He is the card and the money is the blessing. My point is that all we really want is His cash. We open the gift, grab what's inside and quickly move on to our other gifts. But if God is represented by the card and message it speaks, we discard the true Gift. Joy, hope, peace, and love were the words that graced the front of this particular card and infer that He is willing to give that away as well. A relationship with Him would be characterized by joy, hope, peace, and love would it not? So if all we want is the loot, we forfeit the divine joy, hope, peace, and love. What if God was speaking to me through those words and I just glossed over them to see the $$$, then tossed the card aside but grabbed the cash, thus never receiving the most valuable part of the gift. It happens all the time. We miss the greatest gift of all, a relationship with the Giver, when all we really want is what He can give us. LORD, change my heart and that of my families to want YOU more than anything! Don't let us miss the greatest gift of all.....a relationship with You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Eli Stone.....Not Gonna Watch It Anymore

Mike and I have been enjoying the series Eli Stone for the past month or so as Molly owned season 1 on DVD and got me season 2 for my birthday. The show's characters were so likable.....Eli(a prophet who gets visions from God on what cases to take although more like Balaam than a true disciple), Patti the secretary, Maggie, Taylor, "The Dowd," the acupuncturist and Mr. Wolensky, and law cases they represented were always on the side of doing the right thing in a totally secular sort of way that you couldn't help but get sucked in and intrigued by the entertainment value and the way the show was presented. On Saturday, we were up to episode 7 on Season 2 when (although many of the episodes had questionable topics regarding unbiblical viewpoints on sex, morality, relationships, the environment and whatnot) the subject matter crossed a line that we could no longer tolerate. Without going into too many details, the topic was about a female methodist minister who was suing her church because they fired her due to the fact that she had a sex change operation and became a man. At one point, this minister formerly know as Michelle who was now Michael, led a Bible study with mostly transgender people and read Scripture from Galatians 3:28 upon which he totally took out of context. "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." It was at this point that we began to feel super convicted because of how they were applying the verse. Of course, Paul is speaking about Believers in Christ here but the writers of the show spun it to read how they wanted it to. We finished the episode shaking our heads believing that it is wrong for us as genuine Believers to watch such blatant blasphemy and misinterpretation of the passage. Galatians 3 is clearly talking about people who have put their faith in Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross for the atonement of sin. One of the ways Satan's agenda is being accomplished is by subtle suggestion about our belief system and by getting us to agree with him about "seemingly" good things. When he maligns God's word, we cannot continue to stand (or sit) by a TV and watch. As we headed upstairs to get ready for bed, I picked up a gray polar fleece blanket I had put on the floor for Boaz our boxer who recently lost his best friend and sister boxer, Emma. I had never noticed before that this particular blanket had a cross appliqued on it but as the cross caught my eye, the thought "trampling on the Son of God" came to my mind. I knew it was in the New Testament but didn't remember the entire verse. I knew God was speaking to me about why it was wrong to watch the show any longer. A new conviction came over me as I didn't want to personally trample Jesus. I knew better and knew that God was serious. He cares about what we allow to enter our minds and perhaps inadvertently condone via a TV show that is all in the name of "entertainment." And His standards are clearly for our own protection. The next day, I found the verse He had highlighted in my mind. It was Hebrews 10:29. "How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace. By watching the show Eli Stone, we were in essence treating as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified us. In the Message, the verse reads that "If we give up and turn our backs on all we've learned, all we've been given, all the truth we now know, we REPUDIATE CHRIST'S SACRIFICE and are left on our own to face the judgment." To repudiate is to deny or to reject.

So here's the deal. If I am not schooled in the whole counsel of God's Word, I could hear the show recite that verse and agree that it makes sense the way they meant it to. But, because I know the Word of God well enough and I have God's Holy Spirit to guide me, I heeded God's warning to me as did Mike and now know that He is calling us to not watch the show any more. We will not finish the series. That is the obedience He is calling us to. We are more interested in honoring Him and will heed this word.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dr. McDreamy

March 27, 1999
Molly, Lauren, Sophie, Me, Mike, Jonathan, and Jason

Show Us Your Life at Kelly’s Korner is asking for bloggers to submit their best marriage advice and although I wrote this back in October of last year, I submit this post today as my best marriage advice evah!

Today I wanted to share about something Mike and I do whenever we have an argument, disagreement or any type of conflict or strife. Approximately six or seven years ago, we started a conflict resolution solution that seriously works to the point of healing all grudges, bitterness, friction and gunk! The Lord taught this method of conflict resoulution to us and it is completely failproof because it is of Him.

Whenever the "fight or conflict" occurs, the "bigger" Christian (LOL! The one most willing to humble themself) at the time will encourage the other to walk together to a quiet place (bedroom) where we both get on our knees and pray something like, "Father, we have sinned against You. We ask for Your forgiveness in dishonoring You by how we have spoken or treated each other. Then we look at one another and ask forgiveness of each other. We tell each other we are sorry. We ask the LORD to completely heal the hurt and pain we've inflicted upon one another (and we mean it! If not, repeat the process!!! This takes humbling oneself). By humbling ourselves before the LORD, He has never failed to come through and completely heal our wounds. This way, we never carry unforgiveness into the relationship and thus, our marriage remains healthy. I am not saying this is easy. Pride is stubborn and admitting our wrongs is terribly hard at times. But if you choose to trust God and go with Him here, HE works!! He heals!!! Usually within one hour, the feeling of hostility subsides toward my mate as God supernaturally displaces it with love. This IS supernatural!!! I completely forget the angst or inner turmoil that previously consumed me. Then when I see or hang with him as our day progresses, he is back to "Dr. McDreamy" to me in my heart and in my mind. Only the supernatural power of God's Holy Spirit can do that kind of divine work.

Hanging onto unforgiveness can kill a marriage! We know. This is the second marriage for both of us. Oh, wait, one more tidbit of advice......PRAY TOGETHER. Push through any awkwardness and do it!!!! Pray, pray, pray!!!! That is all.

James 4:7-10 says it perfectly, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you......Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up."

Also, 1 Peter 5:5b says, "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

Psalm 51:4a "Against You, You only, have I sinned." (NIV note: David acknowledges that his sin was preeminently against God)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Beyond My Wildest Dreams: A Display of His Splendor!

Planting For Eternity In A Topsy Turvy World came and went. A few highlights from Sat., Aug.28th, and my spin on what God was speaking through Tina Hutchison.

Do you want to be woman who is never able to acknowledge the Truth? Just what kind of plant are you in God's garden? Wilted? Dead? Plastic? Flourishing? Are you bearing fruit? How do you know if you are in the center of God's will? Are you in the desert? Are you growing as a Christian? Productive, rootful, fruitful? See: photosynthesis......light, air, and water. How's your soil? Does it need to be plowed up... how 'bout allowing God to break up your unplowed ground? Our soil is in the unseen realm of our lives. While the roots are growing, fruit is not; while the fruit is growing, the roots are not. Harvest must come in its due season. Soil must be prepared to house healthy roots. How's your soil? Path, rocky, thorny, good? Ephesians 3 speaks of being rooted and established in love. How do we get there? We must be grounded in God's Word by spending time of intimacy with Him daily. This is where we are fed and watered by the Master Gardener. Our roots must be connected to the source that sustains and breathes life in us. Deep roots secure and hold us in times of drought and storm. The root ball feeds and holds us in place. The deeper your roots are, the harder you are to uproot! Oaks of righteousness? A display of His splendor? We were meant to be. But ya gotta cooperate!! Then your life's meaning, experience and impact will go beyond your wildest dreams. You got this!

Tina looking stunning in her custom made Ray-ban's.......Lisa a.k.a. Miss Sunflower!
Tina and me.......this one's for T-Rav
Cindy and Tina.......a.k.a. Naomi and Wynona.........a.k.a. Billy Ray!!!
Paige, Me, Lisa, Tina, Paula,Katherine, Doris and Alissa (minus Mary)
Me, Paula, Tina Hutchison, and Cindy Ellis standing by the "inspiration piece."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Failure To Acknowledge God...What's It Look Like?!

Up until today, whenever I heard the phrase, "failure to acknowledge God," I believe I mostly equated it with those who were not Christ followers....a.k.a. unbelievers. But after planting myself in the first few chapters of Jeremiah since I returned from the Beth Moore Living Proof Live Event in Rupp Arena this past weekend, the LORD is showing me the true meaning of this phrase. It actually means that the relationship with God is ignored but the Christian continues on as though it weren't. I believe this is speaking of refusing to get with Him and listen to Him and ultimately refusing His will and plan for your day, week, month, year and life!! People can speak His Name and still fail to acknowledge Him. Jeremiah 7:13 says that , I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer." Why would we as His people refuse to listen and ultimately fulfill His plan and purpose for our lives. What the heck 'o pete is up with that???

I believe that the "failure to acknowledge God" is actually an epidemic in our churches today just as in the days of Jeremiah. Jeremiah 9:3 says, "They make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies; it is not by truth that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another; they do not acknowledge Me", declares the LORD. This scenario would be where someone would make up their own "god agenda" and follow it as if they were actually following what God had spoken to them. This is tragic because we do this to our own harm and defeat!! Dang that sneaky snake!! He is playing the same ol' game he has been playing since the garden. Why won't the dude go play some Scrabble or something new like Cranium? But he won't because his game still works. If it ain't broke, don't fix it applies to him as well.

I understand the frustration of the prophet Jeremiah because I know this is going on in my church and all around me. I am on guard against it in my own life and would be foolish to believe that I am exempt from this type of deception. Jeremiah 7:8 says, "But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless." The NIV note in reference to this verse as well as verse 4 says that the deceptive words are spoken by false prophets. Jesus warned of false prophets and the Bible is replete with references to them. Their books sit on the Christian Book Store shelves along side the legitimate authors and unless you are bent on following the Truth, you may easily get sucked in. So I guess the question for us all is this: Do you want to know the Truth? Do you want to follow the Truth? Do you want to live the Truth?

I know in my own personal journey that seriously began back in 2000 (even though I was saved in November 1975), that I did not set out and say that I was on a Truth search. But I was because God was searching for me. It was my own personal, Eat, Pray, Love story. I began to get into God's word via Sunday School and my first in-depth Bible study....David, A Heart Like His. The more I got into God's Word, the more I was fascinated by it. I looooved it. It made sense to me for where I was on my journey in this life. I was broken and needed fixing. I didn't actually know how far I would let this "Thing" go but I kept letting Jesus in little by little, study after study. I remember praying to have a hunger and thirst for God's Word because Beth Moore said she had prayed that. Come to find out, God will answer that prayer! But as the journey trekked on, it got a little harder and by harder, I mean "warmer." The Refiner began to crank up the heat. Scripture is clear that He can and will mature us and skim off the dross by turning up the fire. That's when I had ample opportunity to "FAIL TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD." Was He really asking me to go visit my sick ex-mother-in-law in the hospital and apologize for something I did that hurt her 15 years earlier. I mean we still had a good relationship so shouldn't the past be left in the past? No!!! I heard CLEARLY from Him that morning in my quiet time. It was as if He had written me a prescription like a physician and said, "Take this and you will get well." I didn't want to take it. But I did. As quickly as I could get ready, I headed to OLBH where she was staying and battling colon cancer. I did what the LORD asked because He asked me to and anything less would have been a "failure to acknowledge God." By the way, she received the apology with gladness, almost as if God had told her I would be coming. It was a God moment of gargantuan proportions! And I knew it. BUT IT WAS HARD. Why is it we are so quick to go to an earthly doc (NOT CONDEMNING DOCTORS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD) and get the Rx and run to the CVS pharmacy as quickly as possible and get that sucka filled? Why don't we take God's prescriptions seriously and run just as quickly to the nearest "PHARMACY OF DO WHAT HE ASKED" and fill them/it? His Rx's are the ones that are actually going to heal our souls. Just sayin'. Well, it is true.

My point in all of this is what He taught me and clarified for me this morning. When we go with God and go with God and go with God and then stop, we are beginning the early stages of failing to acknowledge God. Jeremiah 6:28-30 speaks of this refining process. Actually, if we refuse to get up and get with God in the morning for our beloved "quiet time," we are failing to acknowledge God for that day. The greatest insight He gave me this morning is this: "If we don't trust Him and ultimately refuse His Refiner's fire because it is too hot or too hard, we are guilty of "failure to acknowledge God." And although He gives us tons of grace in the form of time and mercy to agree with Him (I wrestled with him for over 2 years when he asked me to lay down alcohol which was clearly a stronghold and false god to me before I acknowledged His request on 2-3-04, not to mention me bringing this up on the K-Love cruise 3 years later in Jan. 2007, when I asked him "How come they get to drink?" as I walked passed the bar and got bitter for a sec as I saw other Christian's sitting on barstools. His answer: "You were a prisoner there." Oh yea. True.) But this is a huge testing point where God's people decide if or when they are going to follow Him and take His prescriptions. I am afraid that most people back down and that is when the enemy pounces!!! He is totally aware of our estate and he will come crawling with his alternatives to God's "ridiculous and did He really even say that" plan. CHRISTIAN BEWARE!

Back in January 2010, I did an upward basketball devotional at half-time and the verse was from 1 John 2:3. "By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments." When I looked up the greek word for commandments(entole) it actually said the word "prescribed" which reminded me of the word, prescription. I knew back then that whatever He spoke and asked of us better be "taken" if we were going to get well and become whole. Maybe that's why we have a pharmacy on every corner in most cities......even Flatwoods.....because most Christians won't take their Scripts from the LORD and are counting on counterfeits that only act as bandaids!!! But that is another talkshow. I mean post! Healing from God is as simple as getting with Him, listening, and doing what He asks. I did not say it was easy. In fact, it can be very hard. But it is simple if you want the Truth. If you've fallen for the classic lie, "Did God really say?" Turn back and admit it!!! Repentance is one of the greatest gifts God will ever give!!! Receive it and begin the journey anew. Beth said in Rupp Arena that if we haven't been delivered, let's admit it so we can be!!! No more pretending. Acknowledge God!! And by all means, finish the entire Rx!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Planting For Eternity In A Topsy Turvy World

This is the theme for the Women's ministry event that will be held on August 28 at the church. Tina Hutchison is the guest speaker and as I spoke to her on the phone last week she asked me and the team to come up with a phrase or word that she felt God was speaking to us. I had shared with her that He had been speaking to me out of Isaiah 58 about being a "well-watered garden." We also talked about my new landscaping that was planted in early June and discussed the importance of good soil, sun and watering the new bushes until deep roots were established. She mentioned the verse in Isaiah 61 that speaks of a garden harvest that becomes "a display of His splendor." The parallel is this: God has been calling the WEM team (women's enrichment ministry) to become that garden in order to authentically and genuinely minister to women in the church. We have been at a crossroad that actually began when our former leader, Pat Shrewsbury, passed away in July 2008. At our "meeting" last monday night, we did not come up with a phrase except to laugh and say that we were all cracked pots that needed sealing. This meeting per say was so much more in that it was a time of confession, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration as we were recognizing that as a team, we had not cried out to the LORD after Pat had died and asked Him where we go from here. Big mistake, actually, because he generally sets up new leadership even before the transference is to take place (ala Moses.......Joshua, David......Soloman, etc!!). As a result, we had struggled for quite some time with disunity, relational issues, power struggles, lack of honest confrontation among other serious things that had not been addressed. And God let us go. And go. Things got worse. I began to trace back our path when I realized that we had moved ahead without even checking this out with Him. Finally, it hit me that our sin as a team was "not stopping to inquire of Him." This was all brought up, addressed and agreed upon, confessed as sin, not to mention forgiving one another for hurts and such at the Monday (7/26/10) meeting and it was now time to move forward as per the LORD's instructions.

Long story long, when it came time to call Tina Hutchison back last Tuesday (7/27/10), I had nothing concrete. I googled a few words and did a to get the greek word meanings to help me come up with an appropriate theme. I wanted it to be profound yet funny. I had mentioned to Tina on the phone the day before that my gardening skillz consisted of planting two topsy turvy tomatoes from my deck for the second year in a row. We both laughed so I had thought it would be neat to use the topsy turvy reference. After coming up with nothing that seemed "theme-ish" enough to be official, I did what I should have done hours earlier....go to ye ole prayer closet, get on my face and inquire of the LORD. After just a few minutes of asking Him what to call it along with some moments of silence ala "be still and know" from Psalm 46:10, the phrase, "Planting For Eternity In A Topsy Turvy World" just popped into my head. And I knew it was Him!!!! I was so excited that I jumped to my feet and thanked Him. Then I leaped down the stairs continuing to jump and leap some more before calling Tina with our theme. God had come through!!!! He rocks that way. Yes He does!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Thank-You Note To God

Dear God,

I just wanted to take the time to thank you for helping Molly through her tonsil and adenoidectomies. At post-op day two, she is already breathing better and can truly tell that the surgery is making a difference.

Your timing was impeccable as usual as her two week recoup time is the exact amount of time she needed off before heading back to camp for counseling "C" session. We didn't even know she was going to be asked to come back for the last session due to the extra-large enrollment but, of course, You did. I know we struggled a bit in the more faith/less worry department as You worked out all of the details and I just wanted to make sure you knew how awesome Your plan and timing is. I guess panicking and beating myself up because I hesitated for a day to schedule the actual surgery wasn't necessary after all. But when Dr. Brinkman's office said they no longer had a Friday the 16th appointment available, I assumed that my hesitation cost her the friday slot. As it turns out, Dr. Brinkman's son is going to state for the little league baseball tournament and he is not doing any surgery on that day. If she did happen to have her surgery that day, she would not have been able to return to Hollymont for the C session when they asked her just last week. I love how you know best always!!!

Well, again, thank you so much for Your love, mercy and kindness to me and my family. You never cease to amaze me in any area!

Love ya, Dana
p.s. Thanks also for working out my flight home from Florida and for orchestrating Molly and her dad and Becky moving her bedroom furniture into her Nashville house. Again, brilliant!!

Psalm 69:29-31 – I am in pain and distress;
may your salvation, O God, protect me. I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Waiting Is Loving God

Just a quick word I got from God this morning......"waiting for Me is loving me." I have been praying about a particular situation that involves people in addition to me and praying for God to destruct, rebuild and restore this team. "Wait for Me," was a word He had given us several months ago (in Nov.) even though waiting can feel and seem senseless and purposeless. I am elated to hear that I am actually loving Him as I wait. Wait is a verb. There is action taking place in the spiritual realm.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Daughter, Molly's, Post From South Africa With Belmont Univ.

MAY 17, 2010

Reflecting on Robben Island

Today's post is brought to us by Molly Tarr:

Well, we made it to Cape Town! We spent the first day touring the city and trying to get acquainted with their currency, the Rand. That task was definitely easier said than done for me. While we didn't get to the Team House until really late last night, we were still up and ready for breakfast by 7 a.m. On the drive to our first stop we got a chance to see zebra, which was pretty amazing considering we were driving on a major road. Due to major traffic we literally had to run to the ferry for Robben Island, and the boat was taking off when we got there. Being the friendly people they are, the crew, thankfully, lowered the bridge so we could get on the boat. We took a bus/ walking tour of Robben Island. We then got a chance to eat lunch and explore the Waterfront area. After that we headed over to Table Mountain where we got to take a cable car up to the top of the mountain. In my 21 years of life I have never seen a more beautiful site. I was just in wonder of what the Lord had made and realized how small we, as humans, really are in this world. We were so high up that we were looking down at the clouds in most areas. Definitely an experience I will never forget.

Robben Island became famous during Apartheid for the imprisonment of political leaders such as Nelson Mandela. I have always heard from my friends who have visited concentration camps that when you enter the gates this presence or feeling just overwhelms you. I never really understood what they meant until today. Throughout the tour I felt a heaviness on my heart and felt like the Lord was trying to show me something. The first part of the tour was just riding on a bus, but our first stop is a moment I will remember forever. Robert Sobukwe was the founder of the Pan Africanist Congress in opposition to the Apartheid regime. Sobukwe was arrested and placed in solitary confinement for several years. During his imprisonment he suffered severe punishments, including very limited visitation with his family, and the only time he was allowed to speak was when the priest came to visit him once a week. Through his work for the anti-Apartheid movement, he was a big reason why a change finally came.

As we toured Sobukwe's housing confinements at the prison, we saw a life-size picture of him hanging on the wall next to some letters he had written over the years. A South African woman in our tour group was standing next to the photo to have her picture taken. She looked at me and with a huge smile said, "I am free because of him!" The joy radiating off her is a scene I will never forget. In that moment Apartheid became so real to me. This lady was older and had lived through this time, so I was touched to see how Sobukwe's hard work and suffering really made an impact in so many lives. It is hard to believe that Apartheid ended only 16 years ago, and I am sure those feelings still resonate in the older generations. Throughout the rest of our tour of Robben Island and even on the ferry ride back I watched this woman and her daughter tour this facility. Just to see the look on her face when seeing these sights and hearing the stories of what these leaders suffered through in order to bring about freedom for her made me feel like I got a little insight to how this affected her personally. I feel like I am still trying to process the emotions I experienced today. In my life I have never been in a situation like Apartheid, so to see someone who had and just watch her was truly an eye opening experience. I thank the Lord he gave me that opportunity to see woman in a moment that was so special for her.

MAY 26, 2010

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Molly Tarr brings us Tuesday's report:

After a short flight and a six hour drive, we made it to Gaborone, Botswana! We were all sad to leave the Team House and our experience behind, but during our drive I finally had time to process everything that we witnessed and participated in while in Cape Town. In Botswana we are staying at Modoloki Backpackers which caters to the needs of game hunters, so this is truly a unique experience. At the airport we were met by our new guide Kieffy and driver Patrick. Today was more of a day to rest up on the bus and reflect on our time in Cape Town.

One experience that stuck out the most for me occurred on our second day of working at Noordhoek Educare. While class time had just begun and we were trying to settle down the children somewhat, Pat--the leader of Educare--pulled us volunteers out of class. I was kind of confused at first, thinking maybe we had done something wrong, but those fears were quickly dismissed. She told us that, while walking across the play area that morning, she had felt an overwhelming presence from the Lord. Pat proceeded to tell us how she felt the Lord was giving her a message to give one of us, but she had no idea who. “One of you has been praying for some time about your future but got no response because it wasn’t your season. Now is your season so keep seeking Him,” Pat encouraged us. This really hit home to me because it was the place in my life where I feel I am currently. I am about to start my senior year and know that many important decisions will be soon coming my way, but this word from her gave me assurance. The part of her conversation with us though that struck me the hardest, though, was about the World Cup. “Everyone is excited for the World Cup to come here, but not me. I wish all these people were coming here to help South Africans because there is so much to do,” said Pat. This really hit home because she made such a valid point that people are willing to spend so much money to watch one game of football, but nothing for these people who so desperately need it. Of the children we worked with, one third either have HIV/AIDS, or their parents are afflicted with this disease. Also, two to three children from Noordhoek Educare die each year from preventable diseases. After developing relationships with these people it really struck a nerve in me. I wish there was a way I could help more, but for now I can do one thing: pray. I challenge you to do the same. Whenever you take your time to pray just say an extra blessing for the people--and especially the children--of South Africa.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010 National Day of Prayer.....For Such A Time As This!!!

Doris helping decorate.
Me (FBCR), Pastor Wells (Abundant Life Church), and Diane Dunlop (Bridges Christian Church)

The Fletcher Family from FBCR
The Harless Family from FBCR

6 Denominations represented here!

Half way point water station provided by Flatwoods First Pentecostal Church

Every church on Diedrich Blvd. had this message posted!!! Unity!!!

The 5th annual Greenup County "National Day of Prayer" walk was held on Thursday, May 6, 2010. We met at Bridges Christian Church for a time of praise, worship and prayer before we walked the 1.5 mile route along Diedrich Blvd. to the Advance Memorial United Methodist Church. Prayer guides were passed out for the prayer stations along the way that included government, military, media, business education, church and family. We had 305 people sign in to participate and a total of 29 different churches were represented and a total of 9 different denominations. This year we moved inside to the Bridges sanctuary for the opening ceremony where all pastors in attendance were invited to come to the alter to signify unity in the body and to pray whatever God had laid on their hearts. The theme verse for the 59th observance for the National Day of Prayer was from Nahum 1:7. "The LORD if good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Livin' Out Isaiah 58!

Calvary Episcopal Church Community Kitchen has a new volunteer group from FBCR. The Tuesday morning Bible study group finished up the Breaking Free (new edition) 11 week study by "spending themselves in behalf of the hungry and by satisfying the needs of the oppressed." (Isa 58:10) "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." (Isa 58:8)

I think we get it into our heads that when we serve others we are doing them a huge favor but according to the Scripts, we are doing ourselves the favor. We are actually the ones who benefit the most by humbling ourselves and serving because only then can we experience the love God has for people and begin to see with His eyes. Brandon Heath has a fabulous song out called, "Give Me Your Eyes," that begs God to help him see people that way HE
does. Lord, that is my prayer......for me, my family and the Tuesday morning Bible study rockstar gals!!! Glorify Your Name in our service. Lead us and guide us into all you have for us. Make us profoundly effective ministers of Your gospel of grace. Give us your love for humanity. In Jesus' Name!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Trying To Explain To Men Why You Love Beth Moore So Much

This is my response to the Blog by Jenny Acuff...........Stuff Christians Like

How do I love thee Beth Moore? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height........
Ok, seriously, back in 2000, a great friend named Marian Baldock took me kicking and screaming to my first in-depth study, David, A Heart Like His. Within days, I was getting into the Word like I never had. I remember praying what she said she prayed on one of the videos......that i would have a hunger and thirst for His Word!! And He answered!!! That was almost 10 years ago and the Lord has transformed me into someone I never new existed. I must say that she has been my mentor over these past 10 years and I love everything about her but most especially her sense of humor.

I would also like to add that my husband needs no explanation of why I love Beth Moore. Back in 2002, I randomly asked him if we could go on the "Beloved Disciple" tour with her to Greece and Turkey and he simply said, O.K., sure. He didn't quite understand what he was in for as there were probably 700 women on that tour and only 75 men. He got to witness the cra cra(crazy) she stirs up in women firsthand for 10 solid days.....teaching/filming sessions, touring, and whatnot and he will tell you that he is a better man for it. He jokes and calls me a "Beth Mooron" but he respects and appreciates her ministry and studies as much as the next gal even when he refers to her as the 13th disciple. He closes down and sends his office staff to her Living Proof Live events when she comes within a 250 mile radius of our town. Let's just say their ain't no greater conference to send 10 women co-workers to than a Beth Moore conference!!!

My challenge over the years has actually been explaining to my kids why I love Beth Moore so much. But now they, too, are starting to get it. My college daughter went to a SLI book-signing a couple of months ago. She said it was really "chill" and that there were only like 25 women there. She thought Beth was hilarious. She told me I couldn't have handled it and behaved properly and that is why the Lord didn't allow me to be there. Then, I get a call 2 weeks ago from my 23 year old stepson requesting the Praying God's Word book be mailed to him "if we had it." If we had it? It went out first thing the next morning!!!
Bottom line.......She is filled to the brim with God's Spirit. I love Him. That's why I love her.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

So Long for now, Tessa

I found out yesterday that my precious friend and personal trainer, Tessa Harris, was killed around 11:00 a.m. in a tragic car accident on I-64 around Owingsville, Kentucky, at mile-marker 119. I include the mile marker number because Jason was killed just a few miles down on that same road at around mile-marker 108. I don't know exactly why the news of her death hit me so hard but it most certainly did. I am so devastated because I guess I felt that our relationship still had some miles left to go. She was my fitness trainer at the Vitality Center and for some reason, we had an incredible bond that centered around me whining and her not budging to my pleas for mercy. She was a hardcore chicka who took her job seriously. But the thing I loved most about my time with her was how we could laugh our heads off and the dumbest stuff. She always lost it when I did my dismount off of the big green ball. I was a mess at times and she always had the best time making fun of me. We always lost track of the number of reps I had done because we talked incessantly and assumed the other was counting. I would always guess higher and she would call me out every time. I guess the personal training aspect of her work was why we we had such a personal relationship from day one. I knew that God had strategically placed her in my life for a season. We began to share our "stories" pretty much from the first time we met. I knew she had lost her father to a motorcycle accident when she was in high school. She knew we had lost Jason in a car wreck in 2006 and had remembered him as they were close to the same age. I remember telling her that they would have made a great couple because they were both "extreme" people and would have gotten along fabulously. Based on all that God has done in my life over the past ten years, I knew He expected me to share the real "Him" with her. She and I both shared salvation birthdays at 13 years of age. She revealed to me that she had asked God to comfort her at a difficult time some years before and that she KNEW God had sent her Jessica Baldridge as an answer to that prayer. She connected those dots which gave me peace that she had a relationship with Him. I believed she GOT IT. Her job was to encourage me in my physical training. My job was to encourage her in her spiritual training. I always quoted that 1 Timothy 4:8 verse that said "physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." She didn't necessarily buy it but I always told her to look it up. For about 9 months, I met with her on a fairly regular basis. I didn't want to be obnoxious with my godly advice but I rarely hesitated to speak it. We had numerous discussions about God, His love, and His ways such as the power to pray for your enemies. She did put into practice some of what we talked about and she would be so excited to tell me so the next time we met. I looooved her so much and I looked forward to getting back to the gym and catching up with her while shaping up. When she started a FB account last fall we became friends and stayed in touch that way. The last time I talked to her on the phone, I asked her opinion about the Ab Pro Circle. She wasn't convinced it could do all it boasted but I told her I wanted to try it. I did. But now I want my Tessa back!!! On April 14, she commented on my Facebook "From Russell With Love" photo album and said she missed our times talking together. She told me to come back if I wanted. I still had like 3 or 4 sessions with her that I had paid for so I had full intentions of going back. I had planned to do it soon. But God had other plans. His ways are higher than ours. I trust Him but my heart truly aches. I would have loved to mentor her. I know God will use her death and funeral for His glory. That's how He works. Use it LORD!!! Pour out your Spirit of grace on her family and may they see your love literally surrounding them now. Draw many people through her death. John 11:25-26 says, Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" So Long for now, Tessa.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Serina......My Housekeeping Friend From New Orleans

So Long Insecurity Book in the Sheraton Hotel gift shop!!!!!!
St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square

French Quarter, I-10 and Lake Ponchetrain
Central Business District of New Orleans (Super-dome is behind the Capital One building directly in the center of the photo)

When Mike and I were in New Orleans for the AAOS annual meeting, we stayed at the Sheraton on Canal. I always love staying there because the views are spectacular from the higher floors. The last time we stayed there in Nov. 2008, we had a marvy Mississippi River view. I am totally ecstatic with great views and I'm not really sure why (prolly something from my dad). But when we fly, I will fight for the window seat if not assigned to me. If I fly with any of our kids and they have an assigned window seat and I do not, I make it crystal clear that if they are seated in a window seat, certain conditions must be met which include peering out the window pretty much the whole time. I would be the window monitor!! If they do not plan to comply, they would lose their window seat privilege. We must honor the integrity of the seat. This is a big deal. Thankfully, they are cooler than me and don't really care that much so they usually just surrender it to me without any trouble. But anyway, we travelled to New Orleans again last month (March 2010) for said meeting and this time we were assigned a room on the 4oth floor only this time we would be facing the French Quarter and the CBD as well as Lake Ponchetrain. It was a spectacular view and I was mesmerized by it. I have also come to realize that with opportunity comes responsibility. Anytime God gives us an "overview" view, I presume He expects us to pray over the city and surrounding area. The first time I felt prompted by the Spirit to do this was on a flight to San Diego back in 2005ish. As we descended, it was so beautiful and the homes were so numerous and I began to think how cool it was that God knew everyone who lived in each house. I just felt compelled to pray for salvation's and for an outpouring of His Spirit over them all. After that trip, it has pretty much become a special time of prayer for me and to pray over the areas I fly over, not knowing anything about the people I am praying for. Back to the hotel story.........As I prepared to do my thing each day while Mike faithfully attended his "meeting," I would hang out in the room until it was time to get out and shop, eat, tour, shop, eat, etc. One day I got frustrated because I had been out all afternoon and when I got back, my room had not been cleaned. A few minutes later the housekeeper (young black woman) knocked and I let her in but not without some inner whining. I always prefer to be out when they "do their thing" but that would not be the case on this particular day. Within 15 minutes, she was finished and out the door without any significant conversation whatsoever. The next morning, I was finishing up my "quiet time" when she knocked on the door and said, "housekeeping." I was a bit perturbed because I was in the room and I really did want her to service the room with me there. My preference would be for her to "magically" come when we are not around. Again, that wasn't happening today. I asked her to come in. While I sat in a chair and finished reading my Bible and Updated Breaking Free, she (exact same girl from yesterday) began to make the bed and whatnot. I was still annoyed in my spirit that she was crashing my "alone time" party, but I began to ask God if there was a reason that He put this same young woman in my path two days in a row. It was becoming too obvious that He was up to something because the times of her cleaning were so day she came late, the next really early. Vat the heck was up with that?! I tried to be still and listen to any word from God. I sensed that I was to have a conversation with her so I asked her if she was in town when Hurricane Katrina hit. (Everyone from NOLA has a Katrina story and all you have to do to get them to open up is ask them about it. They still want and need to talk about it). She began to tell me that she was indeed in town and did not evacuate until she was put on a bus from the Superdome and bused to Dallas. She told me that after a month in Dallas, she found out she had a cousin in the Atlanta area and arrangements were made for her to go there for three months. It sounded to me like she had no immediate family to speak of. She said it was the worst thing she had been through and not knowing if she would get to come back to New Orleans was very stressful. I thought about the Franklin Ave. Baptist Church where Beth filmed the re-taping of Breaking Free. I am currently doing that study and had been working on my "homework" when she interrupted me. I asked her if she was a Believer in Jesus Christ and she said she was. I asked her if she had a church in NOLA and she said no. I then asked her if she had ever heard of the Franklin Ave. Baptist Church and she said that she knew of it because she lived right down the street from it. She said she had never visited it because she thought that you had to be a member to go. I totally corrected her and said that she didn't have to be a member to visit and that she should find a Biblically sound, genuine body of believers, church. I told her that FABC was the real deal and that it was predominately black but that I would go there if I lived here. I told her that they could help to mentor her in her relationship with Christ as well as encourage and support her and be a family to her. I warned her about the numerous false teaching churches out there and that this one could be trusted. She told me that she goes past it everyday and that she would check it out. I told her that the Bible study I was currently taking was filmed there and that she should go there ASAP. I repeated that if I lived in this city, I would go there!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's The Lamb They're Are After!!!!

Revelation 17:14 says, "They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings---and with Him will be His called, and chosen and faithful followers." Ephesians 6:12 says, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Why is it that we love movies that portray action such as this but fail to recognize that it is our reality in real life?.......Accountability to the one True God would then be necessary? Out of sight out of mind? Or we lack the spiritual understanding because without the Holy Spirit, we cannot understand the things that come from the Spirit of God. The capacity to understand is not available unless we have accepted Jesus, the Lamb of God, as our Savior, and then, subsequently, His Holy Spirit takes up residence in us. The veil is lifted and true spiritual understanding is possible. Then the maturing in Christ process can only just begin. This is real life. We are the video game.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Margeaux is 7 months old!!!!!!!
Pink tulle seems to enthrall her
sweet and sassy in her pearls
7 months old -- she is blowing some bubbles
5 months old here at the time of the pics
5 months old at the time of this pic
Margeaux Sophie is now 7 months old.  These pics were actually taken around 5 months.  

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Siesta Memory Commissioning Jan 23, 2010

Siesta Memory Commissioning

"My dear Siesta, you have honored your God by treasuring His word. You have been through a rough year but here you are, the delight of your Father’s heart and a thorn in the devil’s side. As we go our separate ways, hold fast to God’s precepts. Let him use his decrees to put iron in your soul. Let no sin have dominion over you and when you stray (and you probably will) and you feel like you can’t find God, cry out to Him with all your might and he will come find you. Because never forget that the son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost. Now girlfriend, go out there and do that thing!"


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Siesta Memory Team (SMT) Celebration!!! Wit Woo!!!

Let the games begin!!!!!
Pink boas.....check!!!!
birds of a feather..........are geeks!!!! And Psalm 119 has 176 verses...that's 176!!!! Also, best quote of the conference from Beth was, " Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees." Psalm 119:83
2 Beth Moorons!!! At least that's what my hubs calls us! She is the 13th disciple ya know!!
Me, Amanda, and Paula We draped her in a boa.......she was thrilled. She is precious!
At the airport Sunday, Paula and Alexia from Champaign, IL
The money shot!!!!!!!!! With brand new friends Kelly and Karen.
Delta Dawn in light blue vest and friends
Beth and Trav
Paula, me, Stephanie, and Tina.......... also from KY........they were on our plane and suspected we were Siestas!!!! We had dinner with them Thursday night at the hotel and lunch with them at the Galleria on Friday!!!
Sandi from her!
Tiffany who has an awesome testimony......and from Dallas..........looooove her, too!!! (For His glory is her blog name)
Sidewalk Sue drove on the sidewalk to get to the Chocolate Bar.....hence the name!!!
Our new BFF's from Morehead, hour from Ashland!!! They practically live in our back yard!!! We already made plans to go to the "So Long Insecurity" simulcast together!!! They drove us from the Galleria to the Chocolate Bar and I knew I was in a special place at a special time. I got video of that adventure which is posted on the FB page 2010 Siesta Sisters Celebration Site. Honestly, 4 sisters giving directions in a town of which they no not of is just down right hilarious. I don't think I have ever laughed so much in my life, REALLY. Maybe you had to be there.....but I don't think so.
We looooove Travis.............we are proud stalkers...............we are not a we do not need an intervention....well, maybe I do. I saw him at Deeper Still in Orlando in Sept.............Lifeway Leadership Forum in Nashville in November............and the Siesta SMT Celebration in Houston last weekend. He told us he would be in Lexington this summer and we said, "Yeah, we know. We are going. We've had our hotel reservations for 8 months now."

White House Black Markets!!!!! Brigette, Rhonda, Belinda, Paula, Robin, and me.
Four Amazing Sisters from Morehead! I loooove these siestas!!! Brigette, Belinda, Robin, Rhonda
Me and Paula Our Siesta "prom" pic.
Me, Nicole and Paula. She came by herself. We "friended" her. She rocks!
We passed our final!!! 24 Scripts for 2009!!!

...but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...... This is what Romans 12:1 looks like...not just memorizing Scripture for Scriptures sake but knowing when to recall it as it pertains to your personal scenario. Lies are displaced when Truth shows up. I love meditating on Truth!!!