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Showing posts from July, 2008

I will bless the Lord at ALL times!
Long update ahead...

Has the thing I'm dealing with gone away? No. However, every day I choose to bless the Lord. I choose to thank the Lord! I choose to share of His goodness! Even though I am going through a great struggle right now, I WILL BLESS THE LORD! HIS PRAISE SHALL CONTINUALLY BE IN MY MOUTH! Thanks again for your continued prayers for my situation. I may be going through something but it does not totally encompass my life, THANK GOD! I have a praise report today to give of some bright spots that occurred yesterday that were like incredible beaming rays of sunshine onto the darkness that has hung over my life lately. I walked into the sanctuary last night and a dozen roses awaited me...they are so beautiful. I'll try to take a picture and post later once I get fresh batteries for my camera. In addition to the dozen roses there was a beautiful pink gift bag full of "Moonlight Path" products including the new moonlight path shampoo, conditioner, and oil warmer/fragrancer! It wa

Friends help us to feel God...
when He seems far away

This was on my little desk calendar for today: "The God who created, names and numbers the stars in the heavens also numbers the hairs of my head...He pays attention to very big things and to very small ones. What matters to me matters to Him, and that changes my life." - Elisabeth Elliot I know God cares - theologically I do know this to be fact, I have just not been feeling it too much lately. I have borrowed a bunch of faith from my friends. Tonight I will be preaching at church and my topic is, "Created for Fusion", and it's going to be about why we in the body of Christ need one another so much. Part of what I'm going to share about is the fact that through other believers we sense and know God's love and care. Author Gary Burge says, "When God's love feels distant or non-existent, the body of Christ's love is real and tangible." So in other words, even though we don't feel His love directly sometimes and He seems so far a

Look what Lourdes did...

Lourdes Manners, member of our life coaching group - and official photographer, made this online scrapbooking piece today and sent to me...isn't it adorable? She's the only one missing from the picture because she was taking it... (and we have other members in life coaching but these were the ones who were able to get away to go to Go Girl conference.) I love my ladies. Yesterday I spoke of the last days and dark times in the ministry. Fortunately my life coaching group is an incredibly bright spot for me! Thank you gals, for being who you are. I love you so much.

Duh, it's the last days, stupid!

I'll admit it. Some days I've just sat in a daze wondering why pastoring is so hard in these days and times. I'm not alone in feeling that way. Every pastor or pastor's wife I know feels the pressure. Well, today I took time to read through I Timothy, II Timothy and Titus...the pastoral epistles. This is basically the handbook on pastoring. I make a point to read through it several times a year and keep reminding myself of things again and again and again. (The Word leaks out of me...gotta keep putting it in...) Each time I read the pastoral epistles I get many new things out of them. Today while I was reading it, I was struck with this thought: Is it any wonder why pastoring is so hard today? The pastoral epistles point again and again to why it is so hard! We are living in the last days! Get this: II Timothy 3:1-9 "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobe

The process is the goal

My devotional in Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest , really spoke to me strongly today. I'm off to take a bike ride before the sun sets, but wanted to share it here: "We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself. What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the

If you haven't signed up yet

for DRIVEN TO PRAY, please do so! It's coming up on Sunday night, and I can't wait! To register for your spot at this FREE live teleconference call, simply go here . If you are wondering what in the world this is all about and you have happened upon my blog for the first time, go to my prior post here , or to the Driven to Pray website here. Once you have signed up to "attend" you will follow the step by step instructions when calling into the, "Women Driven to Pray" event. Again, it's this Sunday night, August 3, 2008 at 8 pm EST. You will dial the Attendee dial-in #: (712) 432-1001 and when prompted, enter the Attendee Access Code: 489447432# Can't wait to hear all the PRAISE REPORTS of what will occur through this WORLDWIDE prayer meeting! Mega kudos to my dear friend Pastor Tara for responding to the call from the Lord to do this. Sunday night is going to be a night of breakthrough! I have been preparing my heart in prayer this afternoo

Family Chat

(Larry and I pull up our chairs to have our "family chat" with the leadership team tonight. We're real relational like that...) Great day at Northside today! The Lord really moved among us and we don't take that for granted for even one second! This morning's service was really good with the spirit moving through the worship, right into the Lord moving in the gifts of the Spirit, into a great message from Larry about living in God's "intervals" and staying in the place of intercession as Daniel did. Powerful. Tons of comments about how much the sermon ministered to all... Tonight was our leadership meeting which we have in our home. I love our leadership meetings. We have a great group of leaders who are very supportive. Tonight was an especially good meeting. We listened to a CD of Pastor Perry Fruscella, a friend of ours, giving a message on "How to Support Your Pastor." Well, we already have a good group of leaders but this k

The Message...
perfectly describes my feelings
so many times

Psalm 51...The Message Bible... " Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing... God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don't throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!" Yes. This is my prayer. (I took this photo at Clearwater, by the way...)

Few more photos from yesterday...

Some sanddollars and shells Jordan got from diving... Teeby My sister, Kim in the water...at Ft. Desoto Savanna and Lexi building castles... Capturing the end to another beautiful day on camera...it was like this when I was taking my walk on the beach at sunset before leaving, just talking to the Lord...it was pretty deserted out there and a perfect time to chat...

While you were sleeping...

More and more I realize just how much the Lord loves me and cares about my needs. The Bible says if He cares for the birds of the air and provides for them, how much more will He provide for us? I took this photo today of Jordan enjoying the birds and running around on the sand at Ft. DeSoto. I'm reminded these days in all kinds of ways, large and small - just how much the Father cares for me and is watching out for me. Every sunrise I see, every sunset I experienced, every e-mail received, every comment, everything positive that is large or small is shouting out to me right now in my spirit about how much He cares. I woke up this morning knowing that our plans were to go to breakfast with my family and then to Ft. DeSoto beach. I was looking forward to going and spending another day at the beach with my sister and her family, but as my eyes opened this morning, I felt the heaviness of some things with work upon me. I thought, “Lord, you know what has to be done and even though I

Another amazing post from Craig...
FRIENDS OR FANS?

I don't even want you to have to do so much as click to read the amazing post Craig posted last night. I'm fixing to post the entire thing here for your convenience. I read this and all I could think was, "well, I'm really blessed. I've got more than a few real friends! Halleluiah!" I understand this whole concept of friends vs. fans. I've had way too many fans, believe me...and I don't say that in an egotistical way.. please note in Craig's blog post, fans are not something of a positive nature. In this case, "fans" are bad. The more time goes on, I am learning the difference between friends and fans. I am learning to let a fan go and thank the Lord for His provision over my life in protecting me. The past few weeks I have a whole new appreciation for real friends and also a new level of discernment about fans. Thanks Craig, for another awesome word... FRIENDS OR FANS? by Craig Sloan John 2:23-3 :1 "Now when He was in Jerusalem

Where we spent yesterday...

We went with Kim and the family to John's Pass and Clearwater Beach. After floating on a noodle for hours and playing in the sand, we went to eat at a phenomenal seafood buffet called Shephard's. So good. I ate crab legs until I couldn't eat one bite more. Here's Dustin's heart he made in the sand for Casey. She was supposed to come yesterday but she got sick. (We missed you, Casey!) Here's where I spent lots of the day...in a chair, scrunching my toes in the sand...just what I needed...beach therapy. Started out raining this morning but by the time we got to the beach it was so beautiful. Did I mention how much I needed this day? Thank you, Jesus. There is nothing I love more, especially when admist a stressful time, to be at Clearwater at sunset, floating on my noodle... We got home tonight and Larry said, "we need to do that more...on our day off." Mmmmhmmm. I agree. Thanks to all of you who are continuing to pray...I love you all. I saw a li

Re-cap of the day yesterday & some pics

Yesterday and today the family spent time at Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. A good time was had by all who went. Parks are not my thing anymore ~ and thankfully my kids are all old enough now to not care if I go or not. :-) (Bad part of that is...they are growing up! Fast!) Anyway, I had a quiet day just cleaning up around the house a bit and resting, which has been sorely needed in my life more than anything. I need to get a little stricter about my days off, upcoming, if possible because I can see that my body/mind needs them more than ever. And that means days off where I don't necessarily go anywhere or do anything, but just a day to seriously rest. I've just been at a real breaking point... Special thanks to those of you who posted a comment or emailed me personally. You're amazing. I have been so bouyed by what all of you have shared. When I haven't had enough faith for myself, friends have loaned me enough of theirs to get by. It's that whol

Latest few days with my family....

Monday we went to Tarpon Springs with Kim, Dave and Lexi. We ate at Hellas, and then just walked around the shops all day and headed over to Howard Park afterwards to the beach to watch the sunset. It was really beautiful. They loved it. Yesterday they were all at Busch Gardens, but I chose not to go being that it's really not my thing and I would have just been a drag, quite honestly. I will never use the pass again and didn't want to spend the money, so I had a quiet day at home by myself...which is extremely needed right now. As far as my situation I've been going through it actually just got a bit worse. I got a negative report yesterday. For all of you who have been praying, I just ask that you pray even harder if possible. :-) Thank you so much. I mean it (not just cliches or the "thing to say" here) but I REALLY MEAN IT when I say thank you for holding me up -- you'll never know what it means. I just have to believe that God has a miracle in

Christian Women Take Root!

A few months ago I was contacted by a woman named Noelle Mena, and asked to start writing a column for ministry wives at a new online community she was starting called, "Christian Women Take Root." CWTR was just launched on Monday and is an incredible gathering place for women of all ages and backgrounds. It is a community by women, for women. There are over 20 groups (and 21 writers involved at this time ) who are speaking out on every topic imaginable, and leading these online groups. My column for ministry wives will be published here every first Friday of the month. My bio page is here, although I think any of you who read my blog regularly probably have this information memorized by now. (SMILE) My good friends Pastor Tara Sloan and Pastor Leanne Weber are also writing columns for CWTR. You can find Tara's column, Feminine Fire, here . She will be blogging at CWTR every Tuesday from this week forward. And, find Leanne's column, Women in Ministry, here . Th

Guest Blogger:
Pastor Tara Sloan

As many of you know, Unstoppable 2008 will take place September 4-6 in Tampa, FL. Unstoppable is hosted by my dear friend Pastor Deanna Shrodes. This conference is second to none. If you are a woman in ANY ministry capacity, ever have been or desire to be in the future, you MUST not miss Unstoppable 2008. The vision Pastor Deanna has for Unstoppable and the Pastoring Partners Network would BLOW YOUR MIND if you ever sat down with her. This ministry is God ordained and is life changing… let me share my own story with you. Last year I made it a priority to attend Unstoppable 2007. Craig and I had to scrimp, save and plan, but we both knew the importance of my attending. To say the very least I had had a very rough year. Every fiber of my being had been through the ringer, my calling questioned and scrutinized. I was near my breaking point. On the very first night after a beautiful and delicious banquet, Unstoppable launched with a powerful time of praise and worship. I remember losing

Sunday wrap up...

God knows what we need when we need it! Today we had "ministering angels" called alongside to help us. Of course it was nice to have my sister and family in church with me. Some other things that meant a lot today... Tom and Cathy drove in from vacation to be at church today...just felt it was important to be there for Larry and I. You know, it means the world...really. They didn't have to do that. Who drives back home from vacation to be with their pastor? The Garland's do, because they do anything they need to do to show, "we're with you." It's part of who they are. Second, Debbie and her words of encouragement today were like a healing balm. Often over the past 6 years Debbie's words have just been absolute LIFE and HOPE to me. Today was no exception. I don't know ANYBODY who has the gift of encouragement like she does. Every single week when I come off that platform, Debbie is waiting for me with an encouraging, "I love you," a

"You Go,Girl!" Highlights

We have just gotten back from the "You Go, Girl!" Conference in Jacksonville, FL. I was one of the speakers there this weekend and took my life coaching group to it. We had a great time! So many good memories and some great spiritual highlights. I'm too tired to blog anything major right at the moment and need to gather my last minute things for in the morning and get to sleep...I had planned to post a few photos that I had gotten off of Lourdes's camera disk, however I thought I had downloaded them onto my computer and now that I look, I discover that I cannot find them on here. Ugh!! Evidently I did the wrong thing in downloading her disk. No clue. I'll have to wait to get the photos Anyway, other speakers were Marsha Woolley, Dr. Debbie Dunlap, and Pastor Andrea Fruscella. Marsha preached a word that was so off the chain and basically what I'm dealing with right now...I needed it so much. Great time spent together, great conversation...just ta