Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Friends - Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Friends - This is a subject that one of my Facebook buddies peaked my interest in over the last few days. He mentioned that he was planning to preach on Friends for his Sunday sermon and wanted feedback from the FB crowd. This got me to thinking about the Friends God has so lovingly placed in my life right now!
This photo is of a few of the girls in the weekly Bible study I attend. We are walking together through the book of Psalms this year and having an awesome time communng with the Lord and each other.
One of our 'friends' and her husband were celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary and a handful of our group was able to be there. After taking a classy shot we decided we needed a 'sassy' one to go with it. Here's the sassy!
This group of Godly women that the Lord has so lovingly set me with for this season in my life is so spiritually tuned to the Lord's voice and I continue to learn the Word with them 'with skin on', not only the Word written, but life overall. I have grown by leaps and bounds in so many ways just in the fact that I've been in their company. So many of these ladies have such enormous obstacles to face on a daily basis in many areas of their lives, however rather than grumble, mumble or complain they just praise the Lord for His love for them. They are always giving into others' lives. They are the ones who are reaching out to everyone in their lives and giving even when their need seems so great. God has demonstrated to me in the lives of these women what is meant in the Scripture reference, John 15:13. I know that if I had a need all I'd need do is ask for their help.
In the first part of this chapter vv.4-8 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and They gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples" we see the heart of these ladies I am writing about today. This is a passage that really spoke with great resonance to me while the Holy Spirit was wooing me into salvation some 20 + years ago. I did NOT want to be a branch 'cast out and thrown into the fire'. I had walked the aisle as a child and given my life to the Lord but hadn't walked closely with the Lord for some time, about 15 years. He used this passage, among others, to bring me back just as if I were the Prodigal child. I can daily see these verses lived out in my presence with this group of ladies. No matter what else may be facing them they are exuding the love, grace and presence of the Lord not only to me but others in which they come in contact.
I have been blessed in so many settings of life as a Pastor's wife, a Mom, Grandma, Friend and just as a Christian woman. The Lord has given me many groups of friends over the years who have put His love and grace into my life. Each group He has placed me with has a uniqueness of their own and I've been very blessed as a result. Sure, there have been challenges, and seemingly they would try to destroy me and I think this is the very reason the Lord places His Word in others who live it out. This is what brings encouragement and gives the ability to put one foot in front of the other when life's challenges seem too great. He is a loving Father and desires each of His children would excel and grow in His Word, love and grace in all areas of life.
These Friends display that in my life everyday! I'm reminded of Michael W. Smith's song, Friends - Friends are friends forever, if the Lord's the Lord of them....
Be blessed and be a Friend!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Living Life with Purpose

Living Life with Purpose
Yes, this is my 11 year old. I got out in the yard early (about 6:30) and got these shots of Jonathan as he was weeding the garden. He just came into the study to let me know he's going to go out and check something in the garden right quick. He said right quick because he's ready to leave to do his weekly volunteer work at the Arboretum. These photos are PROOF that, yes, he is sold on this idea of getting to summer camp in Starkville this year. Conservation Camp - Entomology Camp week is an aspiration of his as he has decided to be a Landscape Architect when he grows up. Yes, we are encouraging him but we as parents know that there are also things we aspire to as children that when grown we abandon. Also we know that if this is God's plan for his life he will continue to develop the desire in him and we'll see it come to fruition.

The first photo is of him spotting and destroying a bug that would eventually destroy his crop if left to its own devices. As I watched him do this, he was purposeful in his tactic, I'll spare you the details but suffice it to say he got the job done. I'm reminded that in the Bible we are commanded to destroy the enemy who would destroy the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and we are also given to tools to get this accomplished. However, we often just don't do it. We need to be believers with a purpose and destroy anything that would destroy our witness.
The next two photos show him weeding and hoeing his garden. He is determined to take care of his crop. For you see, one day this week I asked him if he really wants to go to camp this year. He is paying his way by selling some of his crop and some bookmarks. He responded in the affirmative and I then reminded him that his garden would just die away if he didn't get out there and weed it. Well, you can see his response. Response with a corresponding action is a great thing to see. Not only is he raising monies for himself to attend camp but he is learning some of life's most important lessons.
In his Christian life he is also putting these principles to good use. He has been over the last year collecting can tabs to take to The Ronald McDonald House as a field trip and has been giving "Pay If Forward" gifts of Bibles, Bible CDs, and various things that were under the tree for Jesus at Christmas. We are very proud of our young son, as you can see. And yes, he is all boy and has to be shaped and molded into the man God wants him to be as each day rolls around. With time in the Word and Prayer we can see this accomplished.
Thank you so much for indulging some Proud Parents as we see our baby growing into adolescence. Our prayer is that as he is trained up in the ways of the Lord he will not depart from it but will live it out for others to see and will work in the place God has for him and realize that the sky is the limit in the things he can accomplish for the Kingdom of God as he walks in obedience to the Lord.
In His Love & Service,

Mt. 6:33 & Is. 55:12

Monday, May 11, 2009

Life has been grand for me as the day before Mother's Day I saw two little ones working hard to pick out a puppy. Oh, my was it hard to decide on one of those puppies. Then the best thing happened. Daddy said each one could pick out one of their very own. You have never seen two more excited and happy little boys. Then they started all over again. The search was so much fun. Daddy just waited and one of the pups came right to him. Wow! That was hard to believe. That one was one of the ones chosen and then another one came up and he got to go home with these excited little boys, too.
These two little boys are my grandsons and their Daddy is my oldest son. What a memory he painted on the pages of their journal of life that day. Some day when they grow up and have boys they can look back on this event and know just what to do when someone tells their Mom that they have the most wonderful puppies to give away and that they will make great pets. The pen of experience often is read much longer than ink on paper.
This is what we have in experiencing the love of Jesus in our lives. Family is so important to Jesus in that His references were always toward the things He saw His Father do. Don't we also use these same references in our lives?
As parents we must be sure to be aware of our actions in the lives of our children. These children will remember this incident for years to come.
As a Mom, Grandma, Pastor's Wife and Friend I experience many instances when I have to stand back and see what would my Father in heaven do in the situation. I know that I don't always make the right choice but as I lean on Him and trust that He'll lead there are more right choices than wrong.
In saying this I am reminded that I must keep His goals, ideals, direction and calling in mind in each choice made in my life. I pray that you'll also be able to stand back and seek His direction when faced with choices.

In His Love and Service,

Mt. 6:33 & Is. 55:12