Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Prepared in Prayer

Have you ever been in a situation where someone expected you to just drop everything you were doing to accommodate their present emergency or need? I'm talking about the kind of situation where had they been a little more prepared or thought things out a little further in advance it wouldn't have been an 'emergency'. I am guessing your answer is yes and that we have all experienced this. We have also probably been the one requesting the service of "drop what your doing because my needs are really, really important right now!"

How many times have I gone to the Lord in prayer with an 'emergency', expected his immediate response according to what would be easiest for me and then couldn't figure out why He didn't answer? Hmmmm? Don't get me wrong, he has answered plenty of my emergency prayers in areas where I could not have anticipated a need. I am just as sure that he has protected me from my own possible state of emergencies by going before me, or after me, to fix things.

But what if I lived a life that didn't just live on "oh Lord help me get out of this mess" and instead began to pray in advance. What if I became a woman who was prepared in prayer? I think I like that idea. Wasn't really my idea anyway - it was God's. To be prepared means to: Make ready beforehand for a specific purpose of for some event, occasion or the like. Preparation is the: 1. The act or process of preparing. 2. The state of being made ready beforehand; readiness. (Webster's Dictionary) Ephesians 6:15 says that I am to fit my feet with the "readiness" that comes from the gospel of peace.

I want to live a life where I take a look at the week, months, years, events, etc. to come and start praying for them. I want to be a woman who prays in such a way for her family that the enemy's attacks on them are thwarted before they ever felt the blow. I want to be a woman who seeks God's will so fervently that I hear the Holy Spirit's instructions on how to pray for things I do not know or understand. I want that kind of "prepared in prayer" life. And yes Lord, I want it now.

Father, teach me. Teach me. Teach me how to pray according to your word, your will and in the power of Jesus Christ. Teach me to pray in a way that is truly effective in the kingdom and in the spiritual unseen battles that rage around us. Prepare me. Prepare my heart, my thoughts, my desires according to your will. Prepare me Lord to pray how you want me to pray. Prepare me Father that I might be prepared in prayer always. Thank you in advance because I truly believe you have gone before me in this one. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Humbly His child,

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Gift of Sacrifice

Without any question, God gave me children in order to draw me closer to Him and to teach me what my relationship with Him should look like. Everything else about my children is just pure bonus. I try not to write details about my children's lives, because it is their story to tell. However, Jesus spoke so strongly to me in this lesson that I just have to share it.

Our 21 year old son is in some transitions in his life. He would call it growing up. As the mother, I call it leaving the nest too soon. This last week there were some decisions that he made that were fine, but I just kept thinking - "This is what I sacrificed all those years for? This is it?" I wanted to shout out: Don't you know how much I gave up for you to have a full and abundant life? Don't you know how many sleepless nights I have had in prayer on your behalf? Don't you know how many times I didn't buy something for me so that you could have something nicer? Don't you know how many times I denied myself so that you wouldn't be denied? Don't you know that you have at your disposal all the comforts of life that I have? And this is what you choose?!

As the list was playing like a movie in my head, the Lord stopped it for a brief announcement. He said "don't you know all that I sacrificed for you and this is what you choose." Ouch. I have at my disposal all the resources and authority of Christ and yet I whine about what I don't have and the oppression I sometimes feel under. His Word is overflowing with his promises and provisions and I know that I have not begun to tap into all that He has for me. He made the sacrifice that conquered death, that overrules all the power and authorities, that provides abundant life, that promises the provision of my daily needs and so much more. And how often do I choose worry, fear, doubt, lack of faith, anxiety? How often do I choose to walk in my circumstances instead of in the power of Christ? Oh - ouch again.

He made the ultimate sacrifice for me and provides the ultimate gift and provisions for my life if I choose to receive them and walk in them. May my life look more like the recipient of the greatest sacrifice than a life that says "this is what you choose?".

Monday, December 29, 2008

Be A Doer

Have you ever felt God just pressing something on your heart that you knew you could not ignore? Be a doer of the Word - not just a hearer (paraphrase - mine). But in James 1:22 NIV it says: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. DO WHAT IT SAYS. (emphasis mine)

Right in the middle of the night, first thing this morning and ever since, I keep hearing God tell me DO WHAT IT SAYS. I think He is saying it louder than I can make it come across in bold or large letters. Do what it says, child - DO IT!!

Every so often God will just lay something on me so strongly, that I believe, if I ignore his instructions He will just turn me into a pillar of salt right where where I stand. It is non-negotiable. There doesn't seem to be room during those times for me to give God a list of excuses of why I can't or a list of my short-comings that would prohibit me from following through. Nope. This one is a non-negotiable. Funny though, God didn't tell me what exactly I was to do. I prefer that He would give me all the instructions and details, but generally I don't get that. I just got a DO IT.

I do know, however, what part of that means. Get my nose in the Word and get it in my heart and in my mind. If I know what to do, I will also know how to do it or I will be able to hear the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit leading me through the unknown to get it accomplished. It will most likely require me to add a new level of faith in my life. It will probably cost me something in the process without any direct knowledge of what might be gained. But this I do know, God has made it plain as day that I am to be a 'doer' of His Word and just not a hearer.

James 1:22 - 25 ends with these beautiful words of promise: But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues doing this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does.

Oh Lord, help me to be a doer and not just a hearer. Help me to see through your eyes and may you speak boldly to me, your servant, that I might know what to do in accordance with your desires. Teach me your Word and write it on my heart that I might not sin against you, but that I might be obedient in all things. I want to be a 'doer' for you. I am just absolutely in love with you Jesus. Kim

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Grace for Everyone

For Christmas I received Philip Yancey's book "What's So Amazing About Grace?" I can't put it down. It is has caused more stirrings in my soul and my mind than anything I have read in a long time. Maybe it is just causing conviction - and a time to take a closer look at my own soul. Maybe it has stirred the die-hard evangelist in me. I don't know. I could probably write 50 blog posts on things that I have read in this book alone, but I figured I would just start with one and see what happens.

Yancey writes: "What trivialities do we obsess over, and what weighty matters of the law - justice, mercy, faithfulness - might we be missing? Does God care more about nose rings or about urban decay? Grunge music or world hunger? Worship styles or a culture of violence?"

I grew up in a church that obsessed over earrings, skirt length, KJV only, music styles and more - but I never heard about grace, justice, mercy or faithfulness until I was 37 years old and starting attending a different church after many years absence from any church at all. I was 37 before I knew what grace was and that I had received it. It still makes me cry.

But what about grace for the young girl who is pregnant and there is no father in the picture? What about grace for the teen at the mall who has more tattoos, piercings and skin showing than my 'white, conservative, evangelistic' ideals would permit? What about the woman who has been divorced 4 times and is now sure she has met Mr. Right? What about the man who can't stop looking at porn, but professes to be a Christian? What about that relative who is a homosexual? What about the child who has chosen a lifestyle that contradicts all your religious beliefs? What about _______________ - you fill in the blank. We can all think of someone or something that grace just might not cover. Or shall we say that we don't want grace to cover.

You see, however, God's grace is enough for EVERYONE. Yep, everyone. The relative, the spouse, the neighbor, the co-worker, the stranger, the pastor, the rebellious teen, those who are a different color or a different religion - God's grace is for ALL of them. God's grace is for you. Grace is a gift made available in abundance, but it must be accepted. Christ won't force His grace on us.

Okay - so Christ gives His grace to us freely, but do we extend the same grace to others? Or does the word "judgment" come more to mind as you reflect on your response to some of the people I mentioned above? Oh that we would see each of God's creation through the eyes of grace. I'm not talking about just accepting sin and looking away from what the Bible clearly teaches is right and wrong. I'm talking about extending grace and showing love to those who are 'different' from you and me. What if we chose to show grace and love to those who are far from Christ and then let Christ work through that to draw them to Him? Do we extend enough grace for people to even get a glimpse of Christ?

May my heart be more concerned with the lost than with the rules, may my life be a reflection of the abundance of grace that Christ has poured out on me and continues to pour out on me. As Paul says in Ephesians 3:7-8 "I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me. . . "

May I be a giver of grace - for there is enough for everyone.

Humbly His,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Gifts

I'm not really sure if it is just my age or my season in life or my relationship with Christ or a combination of all three, but the gifts I desire for Christmas this year can't be bought or made or wrapped with ribbon. The things I most desire in my heart, the things that consume my prayers and thoughts aren't tangible, but they are very spiritual and can only come from God himself.

Kenny, my husband, was asking me what I wanted for Christmas this year. In the tangible realm, it was a short list: coffee, chocolate, a book and a dvd player. My heart stirred though for more than money could ever buy. As we talked about Christmas and gifts, he asked me "do you remember what you got for Christmas last year?" I'm not sure I do. I have gotten some wonderful and thoughtful gifts from family and friends this year and I certainly remember the "Easy Bake" oven, the Barbie Townhouse and that "must have" pair of boots I got for Christmas as a child.

The gifts I most remember didn't always come on Christmas morning: my husband getting baptized; watching my husband speak at an Emmaus closing and at the Called to Belong event; my daughter getting baptized; my son getting baptized; my son going on a mission's trip to Mexico; the emails I received from my children when they were at college; my daughter's wedding; being set free from bondages and shame; watching my family be set free and the list goes on. I could name countless blessings from the Lord, but there isn't room enough on this blog to contain them. Those are the gifts I most remember and no one can take them from me. They won't end up in a box in the basement for a future garage sale. I don't have to buy new batteries for them and they won't break. They will still 'fit' and be the 'right size' no matter how many Christmas cookies I eat!

I could pray for peace on earth and someday there will be peace on earth when the Prince of Peace returns. I could pray that all the sick will be healed, but that too will have to wait until the Great Physician and Healer comes back to take us home. I could pray for a worldwide revival and that all will come to know Jesus as their Savior, but we know that the scriptures teach a different ending. So instead, I will turn the Christmas list of my heart over to God and on it will be some very specific names and requests - you know, for the kind of gifts that money can't buy.

"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" Luke 1:45

Humbly at His feet,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So exciting

I am just beside myself with excitement! Spent last night preparing for our next women's retreat "Soulfeast" that we will be conducting in March. God is just showing up big already and we can't wait to see what He has in store. Lots of preparation and prayer before March 6th, but oh glory what fun this will be as we watch women draw closer to Christ and feed and refresh their souls.

In the same breath I find myself ecstatic about our next women's bible study starting in January. We are going to be diggin into Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman by Beth Moore. The more I read and begin preparing the faster my heart and mind race. This lesson is going to be full spiritually and mentally. It will be a blast. Cannot wait.

Had such a great time with the last group as we finished up a tough study on "Daniel" by Beth Moore. But it is wonderful to grow together with these women. I love each and every one of them.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Discipline: n. 1. Training that is expected to produce a specified character or pattern of behavior, especially that which is expected to produce moral or mental improvement. 2. Controlled behavior resulting from such training. 3. A systematic method to obtain obedience. 4. A state of order based upon submission to rules and authority. (Webster's Dictionary)

This word keeps finding its way in front of me lately. Discipline. I find myself desiring to get my house in order, my finances in order, my physical body in order, my spiritual life in order. God laid it on my heart a long time ago to get my life in order, but He didn't give me a whole lot of instructions beyond that.

The house and finances are probably the easiest of the four and the ones that are most in order thanks to and Financial Peace University. My physical body is a little tougher. After 40 things fall apart faster and take longer to put back together. On top of that, my natural tendency is to go for the frozen M&M peanuts and a great cup of Starbucks coffee and sit down - hopefully with a good book. Exercising is something I desire from afar. However, I have started and committed to exercising at least 20 minutes a day, 4 - 6 days a week. I am also drinking more water and trying to eat healthier. I have two very motivating factors. 1. My body is God's temple and I need to take care of it. 2. I want to be attractive and healthy for my husband.

Okay - that's 3 of the 4. Then there are the spiritual disciplines. These are the easiest and the hardest at the same time. Easiest because I desire to know God and His Word more intimately. Hardest because they involve sacrifice and commitment. The areas I most want to work on right now are: journaling, scripture memory, scripture study, solitude/silence, and prayer. There is so much to be learned and to be gained spiritually in each of those areas. I know I can't tackle all the spiritual disciplines at one time, so I will start with what God is drawing me to.

God knows my heart and my passion. He knows how much I want to know His Word and how desperately I want to teach it and be in ministry for Him. So as I think about the word 'discipline', I have to wonder if I am showing Him that I am faithful, dependable, trustworthy, and committed. Can He trust me with an assignment to minister to His people? Can He trust me to follow through when things are difficult? I pray the answer is "yes". But no matter what the answer or the calling is, He alone is reason enough for me to practice the spiritual disciplines. The reward is a more intimate relationship with Him and honor to Him. Oh Glory to God!

Father, help me. My flesh isn't very fond of discipline. But Lord, I want more of you. I want to be a good steward of ALL that you have given me: my health, my family, my finances, my home, my time and ministries. I want my spiritual life to be in line with your Word. This life is but a vapor and I don't want to meet you face-to-face someday and realize all that I missed out on in this earthly life because I lacked discipline. So Father, teach me, instruct me, guide me and remind me that where I am weak, you are strong. Lord, may your will be done in my life in every area and may my life be a pleasing sacrifice to you. Amen

Humbly your daughter,

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Justin Morgan!

To my son,

Today is your 21st birthday. Happy Birthday! It is a time to celebrate and be thankful for all that God has given me in you. It is also a time when I think about how quickly the time went - way too fast. You have given me many, many amazing and precious memories:

- A little baby who held his bottle with his feet and his hands
- A little boy who quickly pulled his backpack over his face when I wanted to kiss him goodbye in kindergarten
- A little boy who loved to go bowling
- A little boy (and young man) who loved chocolate pie
- A little boy who loved to go to work with his dad to change water (and ride the 4-wheeler)
- Practicing your spelling words - standing on your head
-A young boy who left his wet, muddy clothes in the trash bag in his dresser - causing us to ask for months "what's that smell?"
- A young boy/man who could play Scattegories better than anyone I know
-A young boy/man who thinks outside the box and has a very creative mind
- A young boy/man who has a heart and compassion for animals
- A teenager who inherited the nickname "Bob" and it is still sticking with him
- A young man who went to Mexico to witness and share his faith
- A young man who cried at his sister's wedding because he loves her so much
- A young man who has so much potential in life

There are so many more memories, but I am sure you would appreciate my not putting them out for the public to see. Today you are an 'adult' by the world's standards, but you will always be my child - my son. I respect you and love you and cherish you. Thank you for making me think outside the box and for challenging me to know what I stand for and why. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for being my son - I love you.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of Justin. Thank you for who is and who he is becoming. Thank you for his life, for his health, for his sound and creative mind. Thank you for watching over him when I can't. Thank you for loving him unconditionally and for your grace, mercy and protection that covers him everyday. Thank you for a son. Thank you for the calling on his life. May Justin find favor with God and man as he goes through this earthly life. May Justin remember all the great and precious promises that you have just for him. May each day he know how much he is loved and how much he means to us and to you. Thank you Lord for creating him and giving him to us. In Jesus Name, Amen

Justin - I love you unconditionally and thank God for you every single day. Happy Birthday!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Who He Is

Sometimes I just need to be quiet and remember WHO HE IS!

I pray that as you watch this video you are blessed and drawn into His presence as you worship Him.

Be blessed,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Days

How glorious is our God! My husband and I have both been on vacation this week and have had a blast just enjoying each other and our time off. Sunday was his birthday, but I get the gift. God has blessed me with the most amazing, godly husband. If there were ever a picture of Christ in a husband - I am married to him. Kenny shows me the love and attitude of Christ in so many ways every single day.

Yesterday we spent the day running errands and catching up on household stuff. But today . . . we decorated for Christmas!!! I know that it is not even Thanksgiving, but we could not help ourselves. It was snowing outside and it will be our first Christmas in our new home. We haven't finished decorating and we won't put the tree up for a couple weeks, but we have a good start. Wanna see?

Our women's bible study was supposed to meet tonight, but between the non-stop snow and the potential for ice on the roads, I canceled for the evening. And so - I will be spending this evening with my amazing husband, a good book, and some of my favorite coffee. I am not a big fan of peppermint, but Millstone's Peppermint coffee is totally incredible and only available at Christmas. Oh the choices - Starbucks Sumatra or Millstone Peppermint . . .

Lord, I thank you for the many gifts in our lives. I thank you for the gift of my husband and my children. I thank you for the gift of a home and for the holidays. I thank you for the gifts of Christmas and salvation. I thank you for the small things like coffee, Christmas decorations and snow. I thank you for time off work to be with my husband. I thank you that you alone are Lord and that you love me. Father - I love you too. Amen.

Humbly His Daughter,

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Countdown - Day 1

In six days it will be Thanksgiving and I have been thinking a lot about the many things and people that I am thankful for. Last night our small group met for bible study. We have been meeting for 4 - 5 years on an almost weekly basis. We have had some times when busy schedules interrupted us, but we continue to journey on through life together in pursuit of Christ. I am immensely thankful for each of the people in our group. I praise God for Clay and Kevin and the godly friends that they are for my husband.

But my personal praise and thanks today is for the amazing girlfriends God has given me in Allison and Leslie. Leslie and I went to school together and have vowed we will see each other through menopause someday. Allison came into my life only a few years ago, but what a blessing that has been. Allison can decorate a house like nobody's business and Lord knows I need her help from time to time. They both make me laugh and they make me love life more because they are in mine. Each one of them brings something different to our mix. We have gone through seasons of spending lots of time together and seasons that seemed a little more lonely. But one thing has remained and that is the love we have for one another and the bonds of friendship.

Last night during our prayer time, a few tears were shed and then I had the nerve to tell them I wanted to take their picture. So I ask for forgiveness from them in advance - as I post that picture to this blog because I know they will be thinking that their mascara ran off and their eyes are puffy from crying even though they aren't. Seriously though they are beautiful - inside and out - and they are two of my dearest friends.

Allison and Leslie

Father, thank you for Allison and Leslie. Thank you for girlfriends who love me and hold me accountable; for friends who make me laugh and make me cry. Thank you for friends who understand me and give me space, but are always only a phone call away. Today Lord and in the days and years to come, I pray for your blessing of good health, peace, prosperity and life abundant upon them. Protect them and guide them. They are seeking you and choose to follow you, so may they clearly see the light you have placed on the path they are to follow. Be glorified in our friendships and thank you for the laughter - what a ride this is and what great friends I have. In the precious name of Jesus - Amen.

Humbly His Child,

Friday, November 14, 2008

Coccia House Pizza over Pride

I have the most wonderful hairdresser. She is the only person I have been able to find that knows how to cut my naturally curly, naturally thick hair and not make me look like a poodle! (My last wonderful hairdresser had to quit due to health reasons - she was amazing too). Since we have moved it now takes me about 40 minutes to get home from the beauty shop. I am determined to look good for my sweet husband and so the 40 minute drive is worth it.

So last night, I get my hair cut and tell her not to bother styling or drying it because I want to head home. No sooner get in the car, than I get a text message from my husband wanting to know if I want to pick up a pizza from one of our very favorite family owned restaurants that just happens to only be about 10 minutes from where I am. Now the dilemma, as I sit in my car with wet, freshly cut, unstyled hair and a small dog's worth of hair clippings on my sweater and face, is whether I am willing to risk my pride and go inside to get the pizza or drive home for leftovers. It was a no brainer. This pizza is good stuff and we don't get to have it very often. So I called the pizza place, ordered the large sausage, mushroom and hot pepper pizza and waited for it to be done.

Then leaving all my pride in the car, I walked into this very nice and very busy restaurant with my wet, freshly cut, unstyled hair and hair clippings gently scattered upon my face and picked up my pizza. After all - there is more than one way to my husband's heart. I figured if I didn't look so good when I got home the pizza would make up for it and it did!

His Thankful Child,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do they know Jesus?

"Live Girls" is the advertising line on the sign outside a strip club I drive past on my way to and from work every day. I find the sign ironic. I have to wonder how 'alive' many of these women/girls feel on the inside or is there a part of their heart and being that has died. Please know that I am not judging them in any way. I pray for them. While I don't think I know any of them personally, I would guess that some are mothers trying to make ends meet. Others are just trying to get by and pay this month's rent. Maybe some are putting themselves through college. Maybe they are trying to keep the bills paid and find a way to get ahead. Maybe some were lured in by the promise of easy money. The reason doesn't really matter, but their lives do.

I don't know what first led them to this place. But I have to wonder if they ever look in the mirror and feel like something inside of them has died. You can only find your value and worth in dollar bill tips and cheap flattery for so long. At some point, the little girl inside of them has to cry out and say "this isn't what I wanted to be when I grew up."

Is there a part of their heart that has died to the longing to be beautiful to just one man? Have they ever thought that after all that has gone on in their lives that just one man could ever love them? Or could ever forgive them? Do they ever cry into their pillows wanting to know if life has more to offer? Were they ever abused as a woman or as a child and as a result have a distorted view of men? Do they ever have a desire for someone to help them out of the pit they find themselves in? Do they know Jesus?

Do they know that Jesus died for them? (1 Cor. 15:2-4) Do they know that he loves them exactly as they are and that His grace is more than enough? (2 Corinthians 12:9) Do they know that this One man, named Jesus, thinks they are beautiful and that He is enthralled with their beauty? (Psalm 45:11) Do they know that God thinks of them more often than the grains of sand and that He knit them together in their mother's womb? (Psalm 139) Do they know that if they cry out to the Lord in their distress that He will answer them? (Psalm 120:1) Or that He wants to bestow upon them a crown of beauty instead of ashes? (Isaiah 61:3) Do they know Jesus?

As I drive by, day after day, my prayer is that they will know Jesus Christ as their Savior. I pray that they will know how beautiful they are to the Lord. He loves them just the way they are and there is nothing he can't forgive or that his grace won't cover. These women weren't born into this world to live a life that cheapens their value and demeans their self-worth. God has a plan for each of their lives of good and not of evil. (Jeremiah 29:11-12) Oh, how I pray that they know Jesus.

Humbly His,

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Just got back from a surprise date with my husband. He took me to see the movie "Fireproof" and then topped it off with a stop at Starbucks on the way home. If you are married and have not seen the movie, I suggest that it is worth the time and money. It is a great reminder to keep your spouse at the top of your earthly priorities. If you are married and having problems, it just might help you see things in a new light. I have heard wonderful things about the book "Love Dare" that goes along with the movie. I don't have a copy yet, but will be picking one up soon.

It can be difficult to always keep our spouse as our first earthly ministry and priority when so many other things are constantly competing for our time and attention. And yes I meant that your spouse is your first earthly ministry. How many times do our spouses take the brunt of a bad day or a stressful situation? How many times do the ones we love the most get it shown it the least? I have been so guilty of this at times. Our spouses need ministered to just like anyone else. They need to be affirmed and edified and built up just as you would any other member of the body of Christ. In fact they deserve it more. Our spouses need our prayers. We should be interceding for them on a daily (maybe hourly) basis; not to fix them, but to bless them and protect them.

I praise God for my husband. I praise God for a great date and for the blessing of marriage. And I praise God for keeping us 'fireproof'.

Humbly His,

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A little shout of praise

Okay - I just have to give a shout of praise to God. Every Tuesday night I do a bible study with several women from various churches at a campground about 15 miles from our house. Love these women! Can't wait for Tuesday to come every week. We have been meeting for over a year now. That is a praise all by itself. So "Praise you Jesus!"

But the real praise . . . my husband meets in our home for a bible study every other Tuesday night with a group of men. They haven't been able to meet for a few weeks and tonight was the first time they have met since we moved. As I pulled into our driveway tonight, I could see all kinds of trucks (and cars) parked all over. OH HALLELUJAH!!! What a thrill to know that these men meet in our home and that they come seeking fellowship with other godly men. Want to know what is even cooler than that? More than one has been set free from alcoholism, one is a new believer, one is free from drug addictions, more than one free from pornography addictions, more than one celebrating a restored marriage and so much more. All to the Glory of God! All of them seeking to live out a life worthy of the calling that God has placed on each one of them. What a picture of the body of Christ and they are sitting in my living room as I type this.

If you would have told me several years ago that my husband would be a believer and would be leading bible studies, I would have said you were insane. But oh how good, mighty and gracious our God is. He had a plan for my husband's life and for each one of those men.

So God - thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! And praise to the name of the Most High. Praises, praises and more praises. I would shout it out loud if I thought I wouldn't scare those men half to death! Love you Lord,

Humbly His,

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cleaning House

We moved into our new home less than a month ago. The day we moved in the carpet was swept, the floors clean, the bathrooms sparkling and dust was nowhere to be found. For the last three weeks or so we have been unpacking boxes, hanging pictures, decorating and putting furniture in place. Still some boxes to go, but for the most part we are settled in. I was certain that after everything got put away I would be able to sit down in my nice clean house, enjoy a cup of coffee and a good book. Not so. I now need to clean. Dust showed up, the bathrooms are a little grungy, the laundry is overflowing, the mirrors are looking a little foggy and the list goes on. What happened? I didn't move dirt, I moved boxes. Apparently, dust and clutter are no respecter of address! They followed right along behind me.

Right before we moved (the last time), I had found a wonderful website,, that I was using as a guideline for cleaning. When I used their practical ideas I found my house was less cluttered, cleaned more regularly and I was actually getting my drawers, closets and cupboards in order. Hallelujah! I was getting rid of junk and keeping it that way. I will be starting over again this week using the website ideas since the dirt and clutter have found where I live.

As I looked at the dust bunnies under my kitchen table, it reminded me of how much our physical homes are like our spiritual homes. Matthew 12:43 - 45 says: "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ' I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation."

How often do we find ourselves thinking that because we have a relationship with Christ, conquered a stronghold or went to church on Sunday, that we are good to go and don't need to pay as much attention to the cleaning or upkeep of our souls and lives. I know that in my own life I will have found myself walking in the glory of a victory and then not spending as much time on my knees or in the Word, only to find one morning that the enemy moved back in and brought the seven evil spirits with him! Christ told us in Matthew that we need to pay attention. We might kick the enemy out of one area of our life, but if we don't stay steadfast to the Word and spend regular, and yes daily, time with God we can quickly find ourselves in a heap of spiritual dirt.

Just like I can't go three weeks without tending to my housecleaning, I can't go three weeks (or days) without tending to my spiritual needs. If I don't keep my spiritual life maintained with regular prayer, fellowship, bible study and praise, the enemy is more than happy to dump his 'clutter' right in the midst of my life. We would never think of not taking the trash out at home, so why do we think that we can allow the trash of this world to go into our minds unchecked?

So back to the housecleaning I will go and in the process may I remember that God wants to keep me spiritually clean as well and that I need to fill those cleaned out areas with things of God. I certainly don't want the enemy moving back in!

Oh Father, help me to have clean hands and a pure heart. Keep my mind stayed on you and not the things of this world. When I start neglecting my time with you, please remind me that You are all I need and that I need to put you first. When I put you first each day, you will help make sure that my earthly home is in order. May my priorities be your priorities. Continue to clean me up and fill me with your Holy Spirit, so much so that there is no room for the enemy in my life. I praise you Lord and I thank you for all that you are. I love you - In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Humbly His,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Several days ago another factory closed in our county leaving hundreds without jobs and families with now uncertain futures. A friend of mine was recently laid off unexpectedly due to lack of business. Another friend is waiting to hear if their company will stay open. A sweet sister of mine has been fighting an on-going battle with cancer for years where she will be in remission, on chemo, in remission, on chemo. Stock markets plummet. Gas prices soar. And in a few weeks we will know who the new president of the United States will be. On the upside of change: babies are born, couples marry, good health reports are received and each day the sun will rise and it will set and God's mercies are new each morning. Life changes.

So often it is easy to look at our circumstances and base our value of life or our hope in what we see or in what others tell us. A few years ago when the gas prices first soared panic seemed to prevail among many. I, too, remember wondering how it would effect our family budget. My husband and I had both made significant job changes, had a daughter in college, a son about to enter college and our budget just didn't allow for large fluctuations in gas prices at that time. One morning I heard someone preaching and part of her sermon was about the fact that God is in control. Not the government, not Wall Street, not the oil companies. It is God who is our provider and the one in whom we place our hope and our trust. From that moment on I took a hold of that and claimed it mightily every time I felt myself looking to others for my security or provisions. Yes, governments, employers, oil companies and family can have an effect on our lives and change our circumstances. But it is ultimately God who is our source of security, food, peace and day-to-day provisions.

James 1:17 tells us: "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." I love the Lord's words in Malachi 3:6 "I the LORD do not change". How reassuring is that! Can't you just hear Him proclaiming his steadfastness?

Remember that no matter what changes you face or are presently weighing heavy on your heart - the LORD DOES NOT CHANGE. He is and will be the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8) That you can count on. Hallelujah!

Heavenly Father, thank you for being a God who does not change and a God who is jealous for us. You have promised us in your word that you will fight for us, that you will provide our daily bread and that your grace is sufficient for each one of us. You are so amazingly good to us. For those today Lord whose hearts are heavy with uncertainty and burdens, I pray a special blessing of peace and prosperity upon them. You know their needs and I ask that you would show yourself to them today. Lord, I rejoice in who you are, who you have always been and who you will always be. Glory to God Almighty! In the powerful name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Humbly His,

Friday, September 26, 2008

Moving Day

It's time. It's time to move. Just a little over a year ago, God moved us from the home we had built and believed we would live in forever. The house sold so fast that we had to look for a temporary place to live - God's idea of temporary and mine are not the same. But here we are - one year later moving into the home God has prepared for us.

It has been a really long year in so many ways. Little did I know that I came with more personal baggage than boxes!! God has sifted me, broken me, remolded me, broken me again, shaped me, kneaded me, broke off some more and is lovingly putting me back together. I'm not there yet, but he is allowing me to move on to the next stage. He spent the last year getting my attention. I had a lot of things from my past that had become so embedded in me and who I was that I never realized they weren't supposed to be there. Somehow I had come to believe the chains and bondages from my past were normal. Truth is - I needed to be set free from a lot of junk and God has used this move to do it.

In Beth Moore's video teaching from her "Daniel" bible study, she talks about how when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fire they were not burned, but their bondages (ropes) were burnt off and they never smelled like smoke when they were taken out. On top of that - God did not leave them alone to walk through the fire. This move has done that for me. We have been in the fire for 12 months and the heat has been the hottest in the last three weeks. The ropes were burnt off in the first 11 months, but the chains of metal take a higher heat to burn off.

I could go on and on about generational curses, soul ties and the like that we have had to acknowledge and get rid of, but that is better suited for another time. Let's just say I am not the same woman I was twelve months ago or for that matter one month ago. Without any question, this has been the hardest year of my life, but it has also been the most rewarding, most liberating and most freeing. I am a new woman in Christ.

So - let's move. I believed last month that God was getting ready to finally move us into the Promised Land. And tomorrow we will truly possess and live in the land that He has given us. Our exodus out of Egypt and captivity is almost over and I can see the Glory of the Lord up ahead. Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Amy's Confection Perfection

Every so often God brings someone into our lives who just changes us forever. About 4 years ago, God opened the door to bring Amy Banbury into my life. I can honestly say that I have never met anyone else like her. The first time we met she casually said, "I have cancer". I'm not sure what the normal reaction is when someone tells you that, but nothing within me ever gave it a second thought that someday she would just say "the cancer is gone". It just seemed like the next step. The cancer has come and gone and come again, but I still believe this is just part of her journey and that she will overcome every aspect of it.

Over the last four years, Amy has gone through chemo, radiation, dialysis, and I am sure far more than any of us know. But the one thing that has never changed is her vivid and vibrant personality.

This Saturday is Amy's grand-opening for her new bakery "Amy's Confection Perfection". Just like everything else in Amy's life, she holds nothing back in her baking. Everything is over the top and absolutely delightful. This woman makes a lemon bar that I believe came straight from heaven! Once you bite into anything she has ever made, you quickly forget that you should be watching your calories because the desserts are just blissful!

I will be there for Amy's grand-opening on Saturday. I will buy and eat way too many sweets and will love every minute of it. And all the while, I will be thanking God for Amy, for her healing, for her gifts and for her life. There is a lot of celebrating to do this Saturday!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Leaning on Him

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

How many times in life do I head down my own path and look back to see if God is going to come along with me and bless and protect me? Far too many! I think about all the times I start out following God's leading and direction only to then lean on my understanding.

In the last year (and weeks) it seems that I have had to lean on him more and more. My own understanding falls far short to comprehend the work God is doing in my life. In reference to "make your paths straight", the study notes in my bible say "He will remove the obstacles from your pathway and bring you to your appointed goal." Of course! If God is going to direct my paths and lead me to follow Him, He will remove the obstacles. He didn't call me to follow Him only to leave me stranded at the first detour.

These verses need to be a constant reminder to me to trust in Christ completely and not try to figure everything out from my own understanding. It is just as important that I acknowledge Him in all my ways. It is easy to call out to God in the tough times, but I need to remember to call out to Him in EVERY decision I make. I want to be on His path - not my own.

What a sweet reminder that He walks with me in the good and the bad. I can't think of a better traveling companion.

Friday, August 29, 2008

4 days and counting!

Four days from now I will be heading to the Pleasant Hill Outdoor Center for our first night of our fall bible study. YIPPEEEE~! We are doing Beth Moore's "Daniel" video series. I cannot wait to get a fresh word from God and to learn and to be stretched. I need the daily discipline these studies provide.

As much as I love learning about God's Word and digging into it, I am truly looking forward to seeing all the wonderful ladies who are a part of this study. Several have been with us since we began in August 2007 - others will be coming for the first time. It has been a month since we last met and I have not seen several of them all summer. It's killin' me. I absolutely love these women. They make me smile inside and out. They are the most wonderful group of women you could ever meet. Not a mean bone in the group. Just sincere, humble hearts. They genuinely care about each other - no judging, no gossiping - just love and acceptance.

For those who have been in the group in the past: get in 'turtle' formation because we need to keep lifting one another up in prayer and we need to watch out for one another. There is strength in numbers and the prayer of many is so powerful. So hold your 'shields' up, keep the Sword held high and let's march forward together into victory.

Love you all and can't wait to see you on Tuesday!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This Present Darkness & Prayer

I just finished reading "This Present Darkness" by Frank Peretti. Wow. What an amazing book. I had heard wonderful things about it, but it was truly better than I expected.

I realize that the book is fiction - period. However, it absolutely gave me new inspiration in my personal prayer life. I firmly believe everything the bible says about prayer and spiritual battles/warfare. But sometimes, I confess, I am not as diligent in praying for others as I should be. Sometimes my prayer life is just plain pathetic. It's not that I don't pray, but sometimes I don't pray with the faith and fervency that I should. James 5:16 tells us that the "the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." I love the KJV version "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." We are called to intercede and pray for one another.

This book was a clear reminder to me that prayer does matter. We may not see the spiritual battles raging on for us and our loved ones, but that doesn't mean that there aren't battles. The bible tells us there are. Ephesians 6:12 "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."

Prayer matters. Jesus himself prayed often - I am sure far more than we will ever know. All throughout the bible we see powerful examples of the importance and impact of prayer. "This Present Darkness" might be fiction, but it certainly reminded me - yet again - to get on my knees and intercede for those I love and for others that need our prayers.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

End of the Wilderness

When God laid it upon my heart that my time working at New Hope was finished - that I had completed my assignment for Him there - I was sure it would just be a short while until he showed me where I was to serve Him.

About that same time God began laying on my heart and my husband's that we were to sell our home. This home was what we had worked our whole lives for. We were sure we would retire there. We put it on the market and it sold so quickly that we didn't know where we would go. We were busy packing up all we owned to move into my grandmother's home believing that we would only live here a few weeks until God showed us where He wanted us. It's been over a year now.

At first I cried and cried. How could God ask us to give up things we loved and enjoyed and not give us any direction of what we were to do next. My husband and I LOVE being in ministry - discipling new believers and reaching out to the lost. It seemed God had brought us out into the wilderness and then He stopped talking and stopped giving us directions.

So we slowly began to do what we knew. I started a bible study for women at a local campground. My husband leads a bible study for men out of our home. I joined together with Penny Swindall to do a ladies retreat. My husband joined together with a friend to do some men's retreats. As God blessed those ministries, the Swindalls and my husband and I felt that maybe God was calling us to something more. So we prayed and sought his direction. In that process, "Called to Belong: A Worship Event" was born.

We have been praying and planning for six months for this event. We have watched the most wonderful group of volunteers give their all for this. Our lives have been changed in this process and I believe their's have too! We would practice every Monday night - but it wasn't practice. It was worship, TRUE WORSHIP. The people who are a part of this aren't singers - they are worshipers in every sense. It has been an absolute thrill to watch this all unfold.

Tonight is the night that Called to Belong takes place. With the exception of some significant family moments, this is without a doubt, the most exciting night of my life. It is my prayer, our prayer, that God radically changes lives tonight; that restoration and healing takes place in marriages, in families, in individuals. It is my prayer that God is glorified in every aspect of this and that He is pleased with what we offer Him.

May tonight be the night we take our first steps out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

By Faith

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

Have you ever had a loved one that you have been praying and praying and praying for and yet they don't seem to be getting any closer to having a real relationship with Jesus Christ? I have and I do. In fact, sometimes it seems like the more I pray the farther they seem to run from all that Christ has to offer. It absolutely breaks my heart.

I firmly believe with all of my heart that God's Word is true and powerful and mighty for the casting down of strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) I don't doubt God's Word or His promises. I also don't doubt His timing and His will for us. And so I continue to pray in faith.

I understand the concept of free-will and that we can't force someone to come to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I also know what it is to pray in faith for a loved one and have them come into a full and abundant relationship with the Savior. And so I continue to go to the Throne Room and petition on behalf of those I love. Jesus Christ lives to intercede for us and is sitting at the right hand of God doing so on our behalf - and on behalf of those I love.

If you have a loved one that you sometimes wonder if they will ever come to know Christ as their Savior - please continue to pray. Don't give up. Continue to intercede for them and believe. Because after all - faith is being sure of what we HOPE for and certain of what we do not see!

Many are the plans

As the Word says, "many are the plans of man". My plans and God's plans for posting to my blog this week haven't exactly lined up. So, the plan is to try again tonight. God is good and faithful and I won't complain that His plans and thoughts are always greater than mine.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Work in Progress

New posts coming tomorrow.