Sunday, December 19, 2010

Take Jesus Out of the Manger…And Live

So, we've taken Jesus out of the manger and carried him everywhere around the Shreveport/Bossier area. I encouraged you to take Jesus out of your purse every time you make a purchase. You may be wondering what the point to all of this is…it is a physical reminder of something you do every day. You carry Jesus with you every day, everywhere, every minute. He hears what you say with your mouth, in your mind, and in your actions. He sees your actions and the intentions of your heart. Are you living your life like that? Are you living your life in such a manner that his heart is reflected in you? Are you seeing others through his eyes?

Do you remember how we started off this Mary/Martha challenge? Remember how much God loves you and what he was willing to do for you? Let's live like it. Let's dig in his love letter to us and share it with others this Christmas season.

Merry Christmas.

Love ya'll,



Monday, December 13, 2010

Take Jesus Out of the Manger…And

I have some wonderful girlfriends around the country who have a heart for serving God and for ministering to women. I’ve challenged them to challenge their women to take Jesus Out of the Manger just like I’ve challenged you. You may be wondering, “What’s the point?” Good question.

We decorate every year. We decorate our homes, our cubicles, our yards and even our cars for the holiday season. What if we all left baby Jesus out of the manger? Some do already. Some only put baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas morning and celebrate His birthday. But what if, we take baby Jesus with us wherever we go. I challenged you last week to carry the baby Jesus in your purse. This week, I challenge you to take baby Jesus out every time you open your wallet to buy anything. Set baby Jesus up there right beside the card reader. Keep Him there until your purchase is finalized.

Do you think this has the potential for starting a conversation with the sales clerk? Do you think the person behind you might wonder why baby Jesus is in your purse? So, now, not only are you focused on Jesus, but the cashier and the person behind you. Isn’t that what Christmas is about? This is your opportunity to say, “I believe in saying Merry Christmas because I believe in Jesus Christ, so Merry Christmas.” How simple is that?

Now, what if there is a woman in that same line an hour later who takes her baby Jesus out and places it beside the card reader? What if she does the exact same thing? She has taken the challenge to say, “I believe in saying Merry Christmas because I believe in Jesus Christ, so Merry Christmas.” Do you think it will make an impression on that clerk?

You know what else that means? We will have to be on our best behavior! That clerk will be watching and listening. Are you different from all the other customers who haven’t looked her in the eyes the whole day? Will you be like the others in her life who barely recognize her existence, or will you take the opportunity to look her in the eye and say, “I believe in saying Merry Christmas because I believe in Jesus Christ. I’ve taken Jesus out of the manger and take Him wherever I go. Why don’t you come to our Christmas Eve service?”

Ladies, when the shepherds went to the find baby Jesus, they didn’t keep Him all to themselves. Luke 2:17 said they told everyone what they had been told about the child and that those who listened were amazed. We don’t need to keep this to ourselves. It’s not enough to carry Jesus around in our purses much less our hearts. We MUST share Him, so take Him out of your purse every time you pull out your wallet. I challenge you, and I’d love to see the faces on those who start seeing us pull little baby Jesus’s out of our purses. I want to hear about lives changed because we were bold enough to share Jesus in this simple way…my guess, it is your life that will be forever changed.

His Daughter,


Monday, December 6, 2010

Take Jesus Out of the Manger

At the Christmas Tea, I issued a challenge, and I want to challenge you as well. Too often we get caught up with the shopping and the “to do” things that we totally miss opportunities to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. We miss opportunities to serve Jesus. We miss opportunities to love others from the overflow of our love for Christ. So here is the challenge – take Jesus out of the manger and put Him in your purse!

Do you go anywhere without your purse? Not often, if at all. So I challenge you to put that baby Jesus in your purse and take Him wherever you go.

When you go to Hobby Lobby to buy just one more thing (like that’s possible) and you reach for your wallet, your hand will graze the baby Jesus in your purse. I hope it reminds you that before God created the world, He knew He was going to create you (Eph 1). He knew how much you, like me, were going to screw up, and yet He still wanted to create you. LISTEN TO THIS – He knew that by creating you He would have to send His only Son to die for your sins to redeem you, and HE STILL CHOSE TO CREATE YOU ANYWAY!!!! How awesome is that? What an amazing love! It’s the kind of love that people are looking for today. Are you sharing it with those who are in the checkout line with you?

When you are searching for the tube of lipstick to reapply before going into a Christmas party, your hand grabs the baby Jesus, I want you to remember that God made Himself so vulnerable as to come as a newborn baby and made Himself available to the lowliest of people because He wants a personal relationship with you and every person in that party. HE BECAME DEFENSELESS SO WE MIGHT NOT BE THREATENED OR INTIMIDATED BY HIS PRESENCE, BUT RATHER HE MADE HIMSELF APPROACHABLE AND LOVABLE TO BREAK DOWN BARRIERS AND PRECONCEIVED IDEAS. Are you that approachable and lovable so that ANYONE in the party will see Jesus in you?

And when you take the contents of your purse out and put them into another purse, and you hold baby Jesus in your hand, I want you to remember God wants a personal relationship with you. It makes no sense, but He does. He was willing to die for a relationship with you. That’s how precious you are to Him. He wants to spend some time with His daughter. IT’S PERSONAL. YOU MATTER. THEY MATTER.

There are people who are dying and going to hell because they think Christmas is a holiday like the others. Does that bother you? If you haven’t asked Jesus into your heart, He waits patiently. Nothing that has happened to you, no choices you have made surprise Him. He still loves you. He even knows what is going to happen in your future, and He wants to help provide and protect you.

You’ve probably ignored that tug on your heart before, but don’t. He wants to adopt you as his daughter. He’s paid for the adoption – He sacrificed His Son – you’ve just got to claim Him as your Father.

Ladies, the baby that is the reason for this season was no ordinary baby. He was born to be sacrificed for you, for me. Are you living like it? Are you living like someone died to set you free? Let’s serve Him this season out of the overflow of our love for Him.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Over the past four weeks, we’ve been looking at Martha and Mary. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure Martha has to be a first-born of her and Mary. She just has that flavor about her. It’s easy to dissect where leaders make mistakes because they are the ones up front and center and the ones leading visibly, but I think Martha also had some wonderful qualities as well. She was intelligent. She could motivate people to action, and she was generous.

This being said, I began to wonder about Mary. When I looked Mary up in my concordance, it showed me Mary the sister of Lazarus and gave me two additional scriptures Matthew 26:6-13 which is about the woman and the alabaster jar of perfume and Luke 7:36-50 which is the one I want to focus our attention on today.

In verse 37 says a woman with a sinful life in that town went to see Jesus. She was known by her actions in the whole town. In your family, what do your actions say? What about your church? She did not pretend to be more than she was either. Ladies, sometimes we have socialized our sin. We put it on a graded curve from a little, white lie to a big, black lie, and I’m pretty sure God doesn’t see it like that. Your little white lie put Jesus on the cross just like a big, black sin of someone else’s. You are no better than they. The only difference is Christians have been redeemed. Soak in that for a minute. Not too comfortable, is it? I didn’t think so either.

In verse 38 she stood where? BEHIND Jesus. Where was she? AT HIS FEET. What was she doing? WEEPING. When was the last time you wept over your sin? Just asking because it convicted me. Her tears wet the feet of her Savior – the feet that would be pierce for her iniquity, her sin. She was sobbing. Then she wiped them dry with her hair, and what happened next caught my attention. It made me stop in my tracks. I’m not going to tell you either. You have to look it up. Then and only then did she pour the perfume on His feet. Oh, the love she had for her Lord. I want that. I want what she had. I want that softness of heart and Spirit, so His Words convict me and pierce through the walls I’ve constructed around my mind and heart. Jesus recognized her for her love. Check out verse 47. “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for SHE LOVED MUCH. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

I may not have ever murdered anyone in cold-blood, but I may have in my mind. I may not have acted on a hatred, but I may have held it in my heart. I might have envied and coveted without stealing, but in my mind, I’ve taken many things. I want my Jesus to recognize me as “SHE WHO LOVED MUCH.” It’s because of her love of Jesus that she served. She served from the overflow of her love for Him. How much do you love Him? Will He say, “She who loved much” or “she who loves little?”

During this holiday season when we are so rushed going here and there, buying this present, and preparing this meal or that, will your family, friends, neighbors or coworkers see you serving from the overflow of your love of Christ? OR will they see you serving man for the recognition by man or because it is required?

Jesus LOVES MUCH. It’s why He chose to humble Himself and make Himself the most vulnerable as an infant, so He could reach the most common, everyday people – you and me. How will you serve Him this season?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mary and Martha’s Faith Is Defined by a Box

Last week we focused on John 11. I encourage you to read that chapter again, at least to verse 44. Take this time. It is for your benefit. Pray and ask God to open your eyes and mind to show you what you should believe, what you should learn, and what your response needs to be.

We discovered last week that Jesus waited two days before even starting His journey to see Lazarus, Martha and Mary. By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus was in the tomb 4 days. Jesus was in Jerusalem 2 miles away from Bethany where Lazarus was sick and dying and yet Jesus stayed two more days and it took him 2 additional days to travel 2 miles. (Seem callous? Stay plugged in.)

Martha heard that Jesus was on His way, and she went to meet Him while Mary stayed home. Martha is once again “the doer.” She is a woman of action. She is also a woman of faith. In verse 21 and 22, “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Martha believe that if Jesus had just been present, He could have healed Lazarus, but now that Lazarus was dead and in the tomb 4 days, she believed that He could ask the Father for restoration and that God would provide.

Jesus’s response is simply that Lazarus will live again.

Martha has obviously been sitting at the feet of Jesus because she understood that Lazarus would rise on resurrection day. Martha confesses that she believes Christ is the Son of God, but she still doesn’t completely understand what Jesus is saying to her much like the disciples earlier in this chapter.

Now Martha goes back home and tells Mary that the Teacher is there and wanted to see her. It’s not written that He wanted to see Mary. Maybe Martha thought Mary would have a better chance of getting what they wanted if someone else talked to Jesus. We really don’t know.

Mary’s response? She bolted out of that house so quickly that the mourners who were there to comfort her thought she was running to the grave of Lazarus and ran after her. When Mary saw Jesus, she fell at His feet. In Luke 10:38-42, Mary was at Jesus’ feet listening. Now she is at Jesus’ feet again crying and telling Him of her hurt, “If you had just been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw Mary sobbing and the other mourners grieving the loss of Lazarus, Jesus was moved with compassion. The NIV says, “he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” The crowd took Him to Lazarus’ grave, and Jesus wept. He wasn’t callous. He wasn’t heartless. He was moved by those who were grieving. He knew what the outcome was going to be, and that there would be rejoicing in a matter of moments, but He was with those who were hurting where they were.

Jesus then told them to remove the stone from the grave. Martha’s response? He stinks. He’s been dead for 4 days. Jesus insisted, and the stone was removed, and He began to pray. Read verse 41 and 42. Thank you.

In this glimpse into Mary and Martha, we see Martha has more knowledge than some of the disciples at that time, but she didn’t get the full understanding. She had faith. She was a believer, but she didn’t understand the magnitude of Jesus’ power. She knew He could heal, but didn’t know about His ability to raise the dead to life. How often do we put Jesus in a box because of our own limited knowledge or ability?

In Martha’s grief, she showed incredible faith and knowledge even though it was limited based in her humanity. Mary is a woman who is driven by her emotion, her conviction, yet she didn’t ask Jesus to raise Lazarus from the grave. Why?

Just like Martha and Mary too often we put Jesus into a box – a box that is defined with human definitions, confined by what we know by our own humanity, BUT GOD. Jesus may have been God in Flesh, but He knew His source was the Father and through Him all things are possible. God can’t fit into any box you have created. You have a problem or situation or a relationship you can’t get straight, think outside the box – GIVE IT TO GOD.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus – developing a picture

The past couple of weeks we have been going over Luke 10:38-42. We reviewed Martha’s stressors and how we all have “been there and done that.” Sometimes I still go there, but as I looked at that passage, I really wanted to learn more about Mary, so I started digging.

Before we get start, please start with a time of prayer. Ask God to make your heart tender to what He wants you to receive. Ask Him to make it tender to the things in your life that He may not want in your life. Ask Him to make your heart tender for the things His heart is tender for.

The next couple of weeks we are going to be reading over John 11:1-44. Take time to read it. Read it all the way through and then go back and meditate on different verses throughout this week.

The chapter starts by introducing the characters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, and in verse 2 it reads, “This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.” (Did you know that? I didn’t know that! We will be visiting this a lot more later, so stay tuned.)

Mary and Martha sent for Jesus saying, “The one you love is sick.” When Jesus heard the news, He knew what was going to happen. He knew what the end results would be just like He knows what is going to happen to you later today and tomorrow. Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Whatever struggle or difficulty you are going through, will God’s Son be glorified in it? Will your actions point others to Christ?

I love the next part. Verse 5, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” Jesus knew that his friends were about to go through a difficult time, that He would be glorified in it, and His thoughts for Martha, Mary and Lazarus were of love. He loved them. He loved them before the storm in their life got really bad. He loved them when life got more than they could handle, and He loved them when their hearts were broken and grieving.

Do you need His loving? Does it feel like you are struggling and nothing is going well? That is where Mary and Martha were. They sent for Jesus. They looked to Jesus because they had faith in Him to fix it.

But Jesus didn’t get up and jump to, did He? He stayed TWO MORE DAYS!!!! (What is up with that? Two more days? What is the point?) There was a quote in one of Beth Moore’s Bible studies that said, “God misses a few good opportunities to be early, but He is ALWAYS on time.” Isaiah 55 tells us His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts because He is higher than our ways and thoughts. He sees the big picture whereas we see through part of a mirror darkly. A song says it like this, “Sometimes He calms the storm with a whisper peace be still. He can settle any sea, but it doesn’t mean He will. Sometimes He holds us close and let’s the winds and waves go wild. Sometimes He calms the storm and other times He calms His child.” There are times when it doesn’t seem like we can find Him during those horrible or difficult times, but He is there. And one more quote, “When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.” God isn’t in the business of hurting His children. He’s in the healing business, the disciplining business, the restoration business, and the redeeming business.

If you are going through one of these rough spots, I encourage you to journal. Sometimes when we are in those dark valleys we can’t always see God’s hand moving, but when we go back and look we can catch a glimpse of His hand working in our lives by the people He leads to us, the way He leads us to pray, and by the circumstances we can’t understand.

“When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”

Monday, November 8, 2010

“Kristy Michele!”

Last week I asked you to read Luke 10:38-42 from a couple of different versions. Read those verse again after you’ve had a time of prayer.

We also looked at how Martha opened her home to Jesus, His disciples and whatever crowd might have shown up. Martha and Lazarus’s sister Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen. We saw that Mary opened her heart and her mind to be filled by her Creator, the Lover of her soul.

Let’s look again this week at Martha. In verse 40 we read that Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. AND WHO WOULDN’T? It’s not like she could call in an order at Monjuni’s and pick up some lasagna for a house full of people. If she was going to fix chicken, she was going to have to catch several chickens, kill them, pluck them, wash them, and that is before preparing them to be cooked. She was probably also considering what else she should serve to go with the entrĂ©e. Do I have enough dishes for this many people? I haven’t dusted this week. My house is a disaster! I can totally appreciate it if Martha was thinking these things. Can’t you? I mean, after all, it’s JESUS entering your home. You are feeding JESUS. It is a big, flippin’ deal! And in the middle of her frenzy, Martha turns around to order Mary to do something, and she isn’t there. As a matter of fact, Mary isn’t anywhere near the kitchen. Mary has gone and sat her scrawny self down and isn’t lifting a finger to help. That would burn me up to know that the person who should be helping me has ditched me. Can you feel Martha right now? Have you walked in our sista’s shoes? (I know you can’t see me, but I am SOOOOO raising my hand right now!)

Then in Martha’s frenzied state, she goes to Jesus and says, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work BY MYSELF? Tell her to help me.”

What Martha is saying is, “Jesus, I can’t do this alone! It’s too much. I need help. There is just too much to do.” But then she goes one step further. She bosses Jesus! “Tell her to help me!” (Oh, no she didn’t! Oh, yes, she did!) She told Jesus the One whose Father only has to speak a thing into existence to go tell her sister to get up off her scrawny behind and help her. (That my sisters is skating on some thin ice…in my humble opinion.)

But God is gracious. He is merciful. He could have in that moment squashed her like a bug, but He didn’t. Instead, He was compassionate yet firm (Oh, how I wish I could parent like this!) Jesus calmly called her by name…twice. “Martha, Martha.” (When I was growing up if my momma or daddy called, “Kristy Michele,” then I knew I was in deep trouble.) But Jesus’s tone isn’t one of scolding, it’s one of calming Martha down. “Martha, Martha.” I just love the fact that He knows my name. He knows your name. It’s personal. He’s personal.

Martha didn’t have to tell Jesus everything that was on her plate because He knew. “You are worried and upset about many things.” He knows what is on your plate. He knows what is going to be happening the week before the tea and the day of the tea as we prepare. HE KNOWS!

Then Jesus leads Martha where she needs to go – “Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” What was that ONE thing? Who was that One?

As you prepare to serve the women who will attend this tea, what needs to be our focus? Who needs to be our focus? Do not neglect your quiet time with Him. Crawl up in your Father’s lap with His Word, and let Him love on you. Let Him fill you up because it is when we are filled up with Him that your act of service will most reflect Him.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mary and Martha - The Christmas Tea

I have to admit I borrowed the title for our Christmas Tea from a sweet friend of mine who leads a women’s ministry in Virginia. I thought the title was so appropriate, but little did I know how God planned to use the title, “How to Have a Mary Christmas in a Martha Month” to affect me.

Many of you know I am going to seminary to earn a Master’s degree in Christian Education with a focus on Women’s Ministry. This past week I was there taking a couple of classes – “Bible Study for Women” and “Women and Church Growth.” While there I had an opportunity to participate in a ministry that I had looked forward to doing, but as the day progressed, my heart became heavier and heavier, and I knew I would have to miss the ministry opportunity to meet with God in my little hotel room. What He led me to and through is what I would like to focus our next few postings to in order to best prepare for our tea.

Before we get started, please take time to pray. Focus your attention on your Creator, the Lover of your Soul, the One who gives meaning to your life. Tell Him the things for which you are grateful. Tell Him why you love Him, and then ask Him to open your eyes to see what it is He wants you to see and ask Him to reveal to you what it is that you are to apply to your life.

Please open your Bible and read Luke 10:38-42. We all have our favorite version when reading the Scripture, but I’d like for you to go to and select another version and read these same verses.

In the verses, we are told that Jesus and His disciples were on their way to see Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Whose home did they go to? It said that Martha opened her HOME to Him. My mother-in-law designed her own home…every inch of it. She is creative and gifted. She made the bedspreads, cornice boards, drapes, and bed skirts to all match and of course they complement the paint choice flawlessly. Her home is in cool blues, and I find such peace and serenity when I go to visit. She thinks of every little detail and has things prepared ahead of time. What a gifted hostess. Martha was about to be hostess to thirteen grown men and whatever crowds may show up. Have you ever had that happen to you? A large group of people just show up? We don’t know if she knew if they were coming or not, but what the Scripture does say is she opened her HOME.

The Scripture then goes on to say Martha’s sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet. Mary sat. Where did she sit? At the Lord’s feet. I love to sit and soak in the Word. It’s refreshing to hear others teach the Word of God, but I can only imagine what it was like to sit at Jesus’ feet. Not only did Mary sit, but she was listening. She wasn’t idle or lazy. She was listening and learning.

Martha opened her HOME, but Mary opened her HEART and her MIND to be filled by Jesus. Martha was so distracted and worried and upset by so many different things that she did not make set her priorities in the right order.

As we prepare for this Christmas Tea when we will have an opportunity to invite our coworkers, girlfriends, and family members, let’s remember to keep our hearts and minds focused on Jesus, so we may be full of Him and not so distracted by the stressors and craziness the life affords.

My prayer is that you will follow this blog at least until the tea. Please be praying for this tea that girls and women will come to Jesus and will be encouraged to open their hearts and mind to Him as well.

I love ya’ll.

His Daughter,


Saturday, October 23, 2010


I don't know about you, but I have been enjoying this cooler weather. I know the word "cooler" is relative, and for those of you who are transplants from northern territories this is probably still sweltering, but for us, anything less than 95 degree is a cool streak.

Tomorrow night is our Girl's Night Out. You know what I love about Girl's Night Out? I love the fact that women of all ages come. This time there is a pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie contest, so bring it on! We are also going to be "speed dating." You are going to have an opportunity to meet some fascinating people. So, bring your mom, your sister, your daughter, your girlfriend, and come on!

Mrs. Sue has graciously opened her home up to us tomorrow night at 12129 Ellerbe Road. If you need directions, her number is 797-6058.

One last thing…The mission the Women's Ministry is supporting is the Crisis Pregnancy Center. If you could bring a ream of paper or a pack of diapers, we would greatly appreciate it.

See you there.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Enigma, according to, is "a person of puzzling or contradictory character."

  • I don't like tomatoes, but I love spaghetti sauce and ketchup (but not together mind you).
  • I can move my arms and legs to go and do as I please, but I couldn't control my own body to produce a baby with my husband.
  • I love technology, but I am technologically challenged.
  • I love the smell of a pipe and of coffee, but I don't partake in either.
  • I want to spend time with God daily, but I don't make the time to crawl into the lap of my heavenly Father and be with Him.
  • I want to be used by God, but I maintain my pride, my desire for control, and my selfishness.

Paul wrote in Romans 7:15 -- 19, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing"(NIV). Is that about as clear as mud? Reminds me of the Abbott and Costello routine of "Who's on First?" So, let me see if I can put it to you in a sister's tone, my tone.

Have you ever said, "I don't know I bought that outfit. I can't afford that!"

    "I wish I hadn't eaten that last bite. I'm so stuffed!"

    "I shouldn't have returned his phone call. What have I done?"

    "I knew better than to tell her that. What was I thinking?"

You know you need to limit your spending, watch what you eat, keep yourself pure, and monitor your mouth, but you do the opposite anyway. You know God's way is right, but we choose the harmful even detrimental way because of our selfishness and our pride. There isn't one good thing in us. We might have the desire to be good and do good, but we have weaknesses. We have a sinful nature. You think you are the only one who struggles with this? You aren't. "There is no one righteous, not even one," according to Romans 8:11. And if you think you are better than your sister, you better take that log out of your own eye before trying to get the splinter out of her's (Matthew 7:4). Girl, you need to ask God to search you and see if there is any unclean way in you (Psalms 139). Some who suffer from the affliction of "I'm better than her" need to get off the cross because somebody else can use the wood for something better than martyrdom that glorifies themselves…just sayin'.

We may even have designs on doing something great for God, but it doesn't ever measure up or it falls through. Then we get discouraged because it didn't work out as we planned. I can't remember where I read this, but I was assured that I was not responsible for the results. I am responsible for surrendering, submitting and obeying my heavenly Father. He, girlfriends, is the One and only who is responsible for the results. Think about what could be done if He's the One leading and coordinating everything.

We are not an enigma to Him. He knows exactly who we are today, who we were yesterday, and He knows who we can become. One more definition of enigma -- "a riddle," and here's a riddle for you: He knows we have a sinful nature and weaknesses, but He chooses to love us anyway. The answer: God has immeasurable mercy, grace and forgiveness for everyone who will accept it.

So, even though I may not always understand why I do something, I know His grace is sufficient for me and all my inadequacies. Thank you, Jesus, for forgiving me time and time again, for saving my soul, and for loving my unlovely self. Micah 7:18, "Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy." He DELIGHTS to show mercy even after all I've don – now that is HIS ENIGMA. I am blessed.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

It’s FALL!!!! And Ladies, there is something for you.

Fall is in the air. This is my most favorite time of the year. The leaves are changing. The weather is getting cooler. It's football time, and it's time I can get back outside and do some projects. This summer with the 100 plus temperatures add a good dose of humidity made it feel like you were wearing the air around you as soon as you walked outside, so the fall is something a bit different.
 For some, fall is a fresh start. I remember being so excited as a child for the first few days of school. New clothes. New book bag. New books, paper, pens and pencils. Everything was fresh and new.
Well, ladies, fall is here for you too. It is a fresh start. This semester we are support the Crisis Pregnancy Center. Our Bible study groups are asked to bring diapers and reams of paper to donate. The craft group will be making items to donate, and we'll be sending out more information shortly.
 We are starting our new Bible study on September 13th at 6 PM in the Fireside Room. The morning group will meet September 14th at 9:30 AM in the same location. The Bible study for this fall is When Wallflowers Dance by Angela Thomas. This summer I was attending a convention and was able to hear her speak. She has us all laughing till we had tears rolling down our faces, but ladies, when she makes a point she doesn't mince words. This study is about "Becoming a Woman of Righteous Confidence." Who couldn't use that? Invite a coworker, a girlfriend, an acquaintance and come. You don't have to be a member of the church to participate.
 Also, we are starting up the craft nights again. September 17th from 6 PM – 8 PM. Bring a snack or drink to share and learn to knit a baby blanket to donate to the Crisis Pregnancy Center. If you scrap book, we would love for you to come and help put together a 6*6 book for a mother and then work on your books. If you crochet and want to make a blanket or something to donate, please come join the fun. You may have another art that you can do to support the Crisis Pregnancy Center. You are welcome to come.
 Now, you may be saying I don't do crafts. Do you pray? Come teach girls from the third grade on up how to pray over the fleece, tie-blankets they will be making to donate. A prayer is said for every knot made on the blanket. This is a wonderful opportunity to make an impact on the next generation in how to pray.
We have a "Girl's Night Out" coming in October, and other surprises along the way, so stay posted. I also suggest that you check the blog site at least once a month because we are adding tabs to the sidebar with information.
 Exciting things are in store ladies. Do you feel the excitement and energy? Do you want to be a part of it? We'd love for you to. Here are a few things we are looking for:
  1. Do you have a large kitchen? Do you like to cook? Would you consider allowing some young ladies come to your home to learn to cook or bake or decorate cakes? Would you open your home for someone to come and teach young women to cook or bake?
  2. Do you sew? Do you have a sewing machine? Would you be willing to help other women teach their daughters how to sew?
  3. Do you have spare bedrooms? Would you be willing to open your home for one night to moms in our church? Curious – call me.
  4. Do you have something to give? Have you been there and done that, and would you mind sharing your faith with another woman who is going through a similar situation? I want to know.
  5. Ladies, have you ever prayed or wished that another godly, growing, Christian woman was available to speak truth into you, encourage you, guide you, or mentor you? Let me know.
This women's ministry will be what you put into it. Are you committed? Are you ready? I am. I can't stand it! I am so stinkin' excited.
His Daughter,
Kristy Mullins

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sprinting, Running and Passing Smooth Out

I have been doing my best to exercise on a regular basis. You may ask, “Have you been successful?” To which I would reply, “Absolutely not.” But today, I went to the track inside the gym where the girls at the academy were having p.e. (physical education). They were to run twelve laps (1 mile). I confess. I’m a sprinter. Been sprinting and darting for most of my life. Ran short distance in high school, but I’ve never been a long distance runner. As a matter of fact, I ran relay, and our team would get a trophy if we would place in the mile relay. This meant I would have to run a full lap, 400 meters. Keep in mind that I trained to sprint the 100 and the 200. I didn’t know how to run the 400. For those of you who don’t run or didn’t run track, you set a pace and then sprint the last 100. I ran track, but they failed to tell me that little detail before they signed us up to run the race. Michelle was in the block. The gun went off, and she started running. I got into place, and the hand-off was as smooth as silk. We never dropped a baton. The baton was in my hand, and I began sprinting. I did fine until I had to continue on pass my 200 mark. I was sucking down some serious wind. My breathing was a mess. There was no pattern, no rhythm. I passed off the baton to Phyllis and then passed out. YEP! I passed smooth out on the gravel track. They got me up and walked me around, occasionally putting my head between my knees to help me breathe. The first time I was bent over was when I noticed the skin on my left leg. It was gone. From my ankle to my knee on the outside portion of my leg, the skin was gone and covered with gravel. (Yeah, that was fun having that cleaned out.) Right then and there, I determined; I set in my mind that I would never run anything longer than 200 in a race.

Had I trained for a race? You bet. Every day. We jogged around the track passing the baton back and forth, making sure we never dropped the baton. Dropping the baton or getting out of our lane would lead to disqualification. Could I sprint? With the best of them. But was I ready when the coach called me to run a different style of race? No. I had to fall back on what I knew, and little of it translated over to this style of run.

Ladies, we train and we prepare for life, but there are times when we are assigned to do something we aren’t trained to do. We are weak and vulnerable and susceptible to making some horrible mistakes. When we study God’s word, when we have a quiet time, it needs to be more than a verse that fits for the day. That is short term. That’s a sprinter.

As Christians, we are called to run the race, keeping our eyes on the prize. We are to fight the good fight. The growth of our faith is not a sprint. It’s cross-lifetime. Memorize the Word of God. Bind it to your heart. Meditate on it. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and lead you. Get into the Word of God. Have a healthy diet of the Living Bread and Water. This way when things happen in life, you won’t pass out because you don’t have a clue as to how to live through it. You will run without fainting. You won’t grow weary because you know the Source of your strength.

I challenge you to get fit in every area of your life because life is a journey and heaven our destination. It is not something achieved by living short-sighted, so get in the Word.

His Daughter,


Monday, August 9, 2010

Me? An Angel?!

I had signed in at the registration desk and was walking across the waiting room to join my husband who had found two chairs on the opposite side of the room. As I passed a man and woman who were seated close to the desk, I heard her call out to me not by my name but by the name of the church I had previously attended. Thinking this was a little odd, I turned toward the voice and found myself looking into the face of a woman I hadn’t seen in at least 15 years, and I even remembered her name (Catherine). She apologized for not remembering mine, but when I looked at her face closely, I knew why my name had escaped her: she was not feeling well, and fear was written all over her countenance. That was totally understandable; we were, after all, in a chemotherapy lab. I knew that look; I knew that fear.

As she stood in response to my offering her a hug, she looked rather fragile, and I could see bandages peeking out from the neck area of her shirt. I felt a tightening in my stomach, and even though I knew the answer was not going to be a pretty one, I asked, “What are you doing here?” Rather weakly, she replied, “Today is my first day of chemo.” My heart sank because I remembered my own “first day of chemo” just three years prior. I remembered the fear of knowing absolutely nothing about what was about to take place in my body. How would I feel when the chemo first went into my body? Would it burn? Would I even know it was happening? Would I get sick? How long would it take?

I just had to do it: I sat down in front of her and chatted for a few minutes, sharing my experience with cancer with her, doing my best to reassure her that today would not be nearly as bad as she had imagined it might be. It’s that not knowing that sets one’s imagination in motion. Thank goodness, she has the same oncologist that I do, and he’s a wonderful, Christian man as well as a phenomenal physician, so I spent a few minutes singing his praises. I also assured her that (in my opinion) she was being treated at the best cancer treatment facility in town. The staff people are absolutely wonderful, and they wait on and take care of their patients as if they were royalty. My cancer was stage three breast cancer three years ago. I am now on a two--three month check-up schedule, and I can hardly wait to get there every time to see those wonderful men and women who took such great care of me; it’s like a family reunion every time I go.

The nurse came out and called me to the back to have my lab work done, so I promised Catherine that I would check on her before I left. After my lab work was finished, I was scheduled to see my doctor for my regular check-up. When that was over, I stopped back by the chemo lab to see how things were going with Catherine. As I chatted briefly with her, several of the nurses came by to speak to me and give me a hug, and I introduced each of them to Catherine and reassured her that they are the best in the field. As I was leaving, I promised Catherine that I would be checking on her in a few days.

Several days later, I did just that and got a most unexpected greeting from her. When she answered the phone, she didn’t even say, “Hello.” She simply said, “There’s my angel.” To say that she caught me off-guard is putting it mildly; I really was speechless for a few seconds. In all honesty, I thought that perhaps she had looked at her caller ID wrong and was expecting to speak to a dear, close friend or a family member. Not knowing exactly how to respond, I sort of chuckled for a bit and then said something really inane like, “Well, am I your angel?” I fully expected her to say something like, “Oops, I thought you were my sister/good friend/mother/etc.” But she didn’t. She went on to say that she had been telling a friend about our “chance” meeting at the cancer center several days prior to this phone call. Catherine had told her friend how nervous she had been, and when she looked up, because of my white blouse and my “blonde” hair that I really did look like an angel sent to her to help calm her fears. (I thanked her for calling my hair blonde, but in all truth, it is now varying shades of gray---thanks to chemo!)

Catherine and I had a wonderful chat about God’s love and power and ability: He created everything and keeps everything working in an orderly manner (I Corinthians 14:40). The really amazing thing is that He also takes the time and effort to do the “little” things for us, His children, when we need His reassurance--like arranging for our paths to cross that day in the chemo lab. Squire Rushnell wrote a book entitled When God Winks At You. He tells story after story of people who have experienced a coincidence in their lives which they later realized was not a coincidence at all but something which God had done for them. Rushnell says that when God winks at you, He is, in essence saying, “I haven’t forgotten about you or your situation; I’m still here. I’m still in control, so you don’t have to worry.” Rushnell also says that when God does something special like this, it’s as if a close friend is winking at you to remind you of some special secret or bond between just the two of you. I love that thought—that God is a close friend trying to reassure me of His love and His ability to take care of anything in my life.

I was first diagnosed in April of 2007. After the shock of the diagnosis started fading a bit and I was just beginning to get just a tiny idea of what treatment was going to be like, I asked a special favor from God: If I was going to have to do this cancer thing, I didn’t want it wasted. I wanted someone else to benefit from all I was going through. God has been so faithful to give me opportunities to share with and encourage other women as they experience cancer and the treatments they must endure.

II Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)—
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.
 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.
When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

If you’ve ever had doubts that Romans 8:28 could really be true, this is God’s plan for our spiritual growth, the encouragement of His children, and a witness to the unbeliever.

Romans 8:28 (NLT)—
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are
called according to His purpose for them.

God can take all the bad stuff in our lives (death, divorce, cancer, rape, financial problems, problems with our children, etc.), and use them to comfort, heal, and renew us. He then instructs us (II Corinthians 1:3-4) to “pass it along” by helping others who are suffering and struggling. When we obey that instruction, many good things can happen: our faith in and our relationship with God grows; someone else is helped through a tough time; and unbelievers may witness all of this and wonder, “How can I have a life like that?”

However, the key points to this plan’s working is that: (1) First, we have to be willing to give the situation to God. (2) Second, we must be willing to be open and honest with others about our situation when God gives us the opportunity to share. So often, all we want to do is survive the tough time ourselves, put it behind us, try never to think about it again, and we most certainly do not want to tell anyone about our difficulty.

I’m thinking that God the Father might have wanted to do that Himself when His innocent son was crucified for our sins. Aren’t we blessed that He didn’t?

Sandra Timmons

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sharing a Moment of My Quiet Time

There is something about sitting in the outdoors, listening to nature and studying God’s word. When I am in this surrounding it’s as if God reaches down and touches me all the way to the core. I absorb the nature around me, hearing and seeing things differently from the norm and knowing that by His hand these things are created. I love this moment, wishing every moment of my life were like this very moment. Even though it seems short-lived, I cherish it because at this precise moment of my life, I am able to connect with God so strongly, and that is my heart’s desire!

As I sit listening to the many sounds of nature, I think about how I am a vessel – simply that! I perceive my body as such and envision God taking out all the broken, sad, and hurtful pieces. He removes all the trash that has built up and collected there in my vessel. He takes it all out so that there is nothing dark or flawed or sad or tarnished left. Only the good that He has found in me is allowed to remain (which I envision to be only up to my ankles because I envision from my feet upward). So then I envision God’s pouring into my vessel – that part which is now mostly empty - His love, His wisdom, His healing, His ALL until my vessel is completely full, and there is nothing but Godliness from Him in me. I am His. He loves me, and I live for Him.

This is just one of the things I think about and envision in my quiet time with God.

Shared by

Donna Melancon

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

He Wants a Word with You!!!!

There was a specific time in my life when I wasn’t all too pleased with what God had allowed into my life, and just as I was ready to have a word with Him, He said, “I want a Word with you.” Nothing like being called into your Creator’s presence.

Ladies, unlike any other book in the world, unlike any other document in the world, God’s Word is living and active (Heb 4:12). You can read a verse in a time of need or just in a time of meditation, and then a month later or a year later, you can read that same verse, and He has spoken to your very soul yet again with a different message.

God’s Word is to be preached and taught. In 2 Tim 4:2 “be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instructions.” This is what we need to be doing with His Word.

As I sat down in His presence, these are the things He spoke to my heart:

"Kristy, my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways for my thoughts and ways are higher than yours" (Is 55:8-9). "Kristy, you see in a mirror dimly where as I see the whole picture" (I Cor 13:12). "You need to know that I knew you before the world was even created." (Eph 1:4) "I knew you were going to screw up and need redeeming. I knew you were going to need my perfect Son to die for you in order to save you, and I created you anyway." (That was humbling.) "Kristy, I love you so much that I personally knitted you while you were in your mother's womb. Girl, you are fearfully and wonderfully made"(Ps 139:13-14). "I threw away the mold when I made you. You are a one-of-a-kind. You are priceless." "And if I loved you so much that I created you knowing you would sin and need redeeming after I took my time creating you, do you really think I would do anything to harm you or allow anything or anyone to harm you now?" "Girl, I have plans for you. I want to prosper you. I want to be your hope, and I am your future" (Jer 29:11) "Trust me, child, when I say that I haven't finished with you yet. I'm going to continue my work in you" (Phil 1:6). "And there isn't anything you will go through that I didn't know about. NOTHING SURPRISES ME, and I'm going to use every bit of it to your benefit because you love Me" (Rms 8:28). "I will never leave you or forsake you" (Heb 13:5b). "You can take that to the bank." Then the Babbie Mason song comes to my heart, "When You Can't Trace His Hand, Trust His Heart."

I’d like for you to read that paragraph again, and this time, put YOUR name in it.

You see, ladies, He was able to do this with me because as a small child people encouraged me and rewarded me for learning scripture. And there are verses I don’t remember where they are found, but the Spirit refreshes them in my mind so I can find them. Look them up in the concordance of your Bible. Look them up at Start choosing a verse to memorize each week.

Mrs. Lavahn gave me a small, spiral bound set of index cards that I keep in my purse. I write down verses that I use regularly or that I need to remember. Ladies, I can pull these little cards out anywhere and have a quiet time. The more that we store God’s Word in our hearts, the better He can speak to us. Then in turn, when we are praying for someone or counseling someone or encouraging someone, we can quote these scriptures to them. What better way to encourage someone than a special Word from their Creator?

Ladies, I encourage you. Get into the Word of God. Memorize it. Write it upon your heart.

Written by:  Kristy Mullins

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Have a Blind Spot or Two

When my husband was in elementary school, he and one of his little buddies decided it would be a ton of fun to put all of the balls they used for P.E. (physical education) on top of the covered walkway. Upon accomplishing their fete but before they could escape a teacher saw them. The teacher made them shimmy up the poles and get every last ball. Their excuse for doing this act was, "He was did it first." The teacher had the boys follow him to his classroom to write and fill a whole sheet of paper with a verse that my husband remembers to this day: "The blind will lead the blind and they both will fall in a ditch." (Matthew 15:14) Oh that our teachers today could use the Word of God for reproof and correction!
Do you know why "they both shall fall in a ditch?" It seems obvious, doesn't it? They couldn't see. When a person has been sighted and then loses it, the way they experience their world is radically changed. They have to learn a completely different way of operating in the world using their other senses, assistance, and devices.
You might be wondering where this is going, but hang in there with me.
There have been times in my spiritual walk where I've been blind. I was walking in my faith by sight. Is that really faith? It's definitely not a rich, growing faith. I remember going through the adoption process the first time. No one I had ever known had gone through fertility treatments and certainly not the adoption process. I remember telling my mom, "If God would just show me, if He would just tell me, I would obey! Just give me a sign or something as to where I'm supposed to go to get my baby!" (My fear was that I would get the wrong baby. When you give birth to your cherubs, you really don't have to worry too much about that.) I remember crying out to God not knowing what direction I was supposed to be going or what I was supposed to be doing. God knew the intent of my heart was to be obedient (Proverbs 16:2), and He wasn't going to allow me to go astray. If He had whispered in my ear, "This is the way walk in it," (Isaiah 30:21), He knew I would follow, but His ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts (Isaiah 54:8-9). He saw the whole picture whereas I only saw a corner of the picture. My Lord was choosing at this time of high anxiety and stress in my life to develop my faith, my blind trust because my obedience has already been established.
Since that time in my life over nine years ago, I've had other blinding experiences, and I've relied on and claimed Isaiah 42:16, "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them." Are you going through a "blinding" experience right now? Maybe it's with your health, your marriage, your family, your job, your finances – you have no idea what God wants you to do. God knows exactly where your blind spot is, and He is going to use it to its maximum potential to grow you up in faith.
Think about that verse. When you're blind, you are led. Who do you want leading you during your trial? Do you want Someone who has known you since before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) to guide you? Do you want Someone who loves you so much that He died for you to guide you? Do you want Someone who knows what tomorrow holds to guide you down this unfamiliar path? Here's the thing. The path is only unfamiliar to you. He is the Creator of the path.
Did you notice the word "guide?" If He were to lead you so it was blatantly obvious it wouldn't require much faith from you. Would it? And sometimes, He chooses to work like that – Thank you, Jesus! But other times, He chooses to GUIDE. A synonym for the word "guide" is "Shepherd." He will shepherd you where you need to go.
He also said He would make the "rough places" (those "rough places" have jagged ends that can do irreparable harm) smooth. Notice He didn't say, "You won't have pain." There can be and more times than not will be pain in growth. Not only does He smooth the rough places, but He is the Light. Where He is, there is no darkness. We just have to pray that He will remove the scales from our eyes, so we can see what He would have us see.
All those times I was in a "blind spot" He never once left me (Hebrews 13:5). I might not have known His plan or how He was going to work it out for my good (Romans 8:28), but I had confidence that He was going to finish what He started in me (Philippians 1:6), and you can have that same confidence. No matter how difficult a time you are in or what your struggle is, He's not going to leave you in it.

His Daughter,

Kristy Mullins

Monday, June 14, 2010

Seeking God’s Kingdom First – It’s All About Balance

We live in a fast-paced world, and as Christians we have to deal with being part of this world, but not of it. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus instructed us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; then the things that we need would be provided.
Recently, during a time of prayer, I sensed the Lord speaking to me. This is what He said: “Press through the smoke screen of this world – the counterfeits of Me and My glory. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Push past the allurement of the world – the bells and whistles, the “new” innovative ideas, new marketing strategies and techniques. Go past the photographs which promise MORE.”

A few weeks ago, I went to dinner with my family. My sister ordered the “new” chicken dish, which was touted to be so spectacular. The bottom line? It was grilled chicken with fancy macaroni and cheese. Not even a new taste! Nothing new, nothing to “wow” me – much ado about nothing! Just another marketing technique used to convince me that this item was better than any other – so I should spend my money purchasing it.

We must push past the descriptions. The world will always “hawk” their wares like a carnival worker wanting us to throw away our money on a rigged game. Satan’s plan is to lure as many as possible onto the broad, easy path of destruction and to pull us off the straight and narrow that leads to eternal life.

There are many allurements for women, such as the quest to look better - a younger looking body, wrinkle serums and creams, face lifts, Botox, tucks and lifts, cosmetic surgery, hair color, more cosmetics, breast augmentations, collagen injections. These are just some of the outer allurements. Then there are the latest fashion trends, jewelry, shoes, sexuality, power and money.

Sisters, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for looking good – as much as possible. But if our hearts and minds seek these things first instead of furthering the kingdom of God, then we have our priorities all out of balance.

I heard a minister say that Satan can’t take away your salvation, but if he can cause you to not be productive in God’s kingdom, then Satan has succeeded. There are numerous ways through which he can influence us. Our number one line of defense is the same one Jesus used when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness – through the Word of God. And the greatest commandment is that we love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, soul, mind and strength: that is seeking first His kingdom. And that, dear friend, is living a balanced life.

By:  Sally Frazier

Friday, May 28, 2010

Just a Shepherd Boy

I love studying the life of David. I find such encouragement in his life. God called him ‘a man after my own heart’ and while he was that, he stumbled, fell and hurt just like the rest of us. That speaks to the melancholy in me that is determined to do it all and do it perfectly. I can mess up and God will still allow my heart to beat just for him. First and Second Samuel read to me like the most fascinating of any novel I could find on the shelf at my local Barnes and Noble and right now in this blessed season, I have the privilege of studying the life of David once again.

I’ll have you know that I’m only on the second day of my Bible Study and already my mind is ablaze in wonder.

I wonder what David thought when he was brought in from the field that day and anointed by Samuel. I wonder what he had been thinking about while tending to the sheep in that field just hours before. Were his thoughts lofty or mundane? Was he happy and content tending to the sheep or did he dream of greater things?

These are just a few of the many questions I have the day that I meet my King face to face.

This speaks to me, because in my life right now I feel like I am in a season of sheep tending. Not the pastoral type of sheep tending, but the real sit in a field all day watching sheep graze the grass type of shepherding. I wake up in the morning, eat a bowl of cereal, get the baby ready, kiss the hubby, head to work, sit, answer the phone, sit, greet a guest, sit, pick the baby up, cook dinner, bathe the baby, go to bed. Surely I thought life would be so much greater when I was a young girl. Perhaps you feel this way, too.

Today I read a blog entry written by one of my best friends. She’s really struggling in life right now. Through her written words I can hear her practically screaming “Is this all life has to offer me?” at the top of her lungs.

And then I think of David. I wonder if he thought those exact thoughts while he spent his days watching sheep eat grass, poop and sleep. It’s a known fact that sheep aren’t the smartest or the most interesting animals, surely he got bored.

Perhaps he loved being a shepherd. One of the sweetest moments in my day is having the Daycare’s Bye-Bye buggy make a visit past my desk. (The Bye-Bye Buggy is a cart full of precious one year olds who make their way around our establishment, either in order to prevent boredom or keep the babies from falling asleep.) I love those babies; I know each of them by name. It’s a sweet thought to think that David knew each of his sheep by name- that they were more than just sheep, they were cherished pets.

Regardless, David’s life changed one afternoon when his father sent for him to leave the field and head home. In just a matter of hours, David went from being just a shepherd boy to the anointed and chosen one of God. It says in The Message that the spirit of God entered David like a rush of wind. Can you even imagine?

I’m going to think about David, the shepherd boy David, when I find myself in a rut. When life feels mundane and I want to shout at the top of my lungs “Is this it, Lord?”

Where are you in your life right now? Are you feeling bored, weary, unimportant, overlooked?

Tomorrow could be the very day that God pulls you off of the field to anoint you and call you to the very thing he chosen for you to bring glory to Him. Are you allowing God to prepare you for that time or are you too busy wallowing in your sorrows?

Make a choice to be thankful for wherever God has you in this movement. Learn from it, cherish it, live in it.

I imagine that when David looked back on his exciting and prosperous life, he was indeed thankful for that time he spent in the field merely tending to the sheep.

Sunni Scott

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Blessed By Cancer

As I read what a friend wrote about being "blessed by the fire" that burned her house to the ground, I was reminded of something that I had said recently to my daughter's Sunday School class of women. It was something that had been tumbling around in my head for a while, but I had never actually verbalized the thought. And if you had told me just a year ago that I would ever say those words, I would have said that you were crazy. It was just this past weekend that I said the words for the second time, and it was to the group of my closest friends when we went on our annual retreat together. I'm still very cautious about saying these words because most people won't understand, but I have to say them anyway and trust that God will use the words wherever they need to be read or heard.

"I'm grateful I had cancer." There! I've said it again! It took me only three years to say that out loud. Do I want to do it again? A resounding NO! I didn't want to do it the first time, and I certainly don't want to do it again! God and I have had that discussion—more than once! I pray daily that I never have a repeat of that experience, especially for my family's sake. However, I have arrived at the point that I can truly say that if that is how He chooses to use my life, then so be it.

2007 was without a doubt the worst year of my family's life. I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer (lymph node involvement) in April and finished with surgeries, chemo, and radiation on December 21, 2007. There is so much I could say about that year—none of it good. Then how can I be "grateful I had cancer," you may ask: because God was involved, and He did many, many wonderful, loving, compassionate things for us that year, and, to me, the greatest thing He did was to change me. For that I am eternally grateful! I am a much better person than I was, and I like the "new me" much more. I have a clearer picture of so many things—what my priorities need to be, how blessed I am in everyday life, the reality of what God wants me to do and be while I'm on this earth. The most important "clearer picture" is that I got to know—really know—God so much better. For those things (and many others), I am grateful! Have I "arrived"? Absolutely not, but I am farther along than I was b.c. (before cancer). I do not want to go back to being the person I was b.c. So "Thank you, God, for teaching me, for changing me, for allowing me to learn so many things—even if it took cancer to do it."

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8 – 9

Written by Sandra Timmons

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


When you meet Carol, you cannot help but fall in love with her and her love of the Lord. Her faith is so strong, and God truly comes first in her life.

And, oh, how she loves her family; her eyes light up and sparkle as she talks about her husband and her sons. She shares that she is married to “a very special man” -- Frank Andrews -- and that she cannot imagine life without him. He has always been there to support and love her and the kids through all the struggles, and she is happy to say they have been married for 54 and a half years; it will be 55 years in September.

Then there are the boys who truly touch within the depths of her heart -- Andy, Billy, and Johnny. These children are so precious in Carol’s eyes. God blessed her greatly with these particular sons. Andy was 18 months old when Billy was born, and then Johnny was born 2 years later.

When Billy was 3 months old, he was diagnosed with Trachial Stenosis and had his first tracheotomy at that time. Those early years were so hard: when Billy cried, Carol could not hear him because of the trachea; and when he cried without sound, Carol cried out of hurt for him. During this time, it was so hard for the other boys, as mom and dad could not always be there at bedtime. But praise the Lord, Carol’s mother was there to help. GOD IS SO GOOD!

Then the doctor suggested breathing treatments for Billy, and there was no one to give him the type of swimming lessons he needed. Carol did not want to sit on the sidelines and decided to change her profession as a secretary to become a swimming instructor. She took four years of swimming instructions, became a lifeguard, and even wrote a book about swimming. Not only was she able to help Billy with his needs, Andy and Johnny also benefited from the swimming. She developed a special heartbeat for the handicapped and taught swimming to these special children for over 30 years. AMAZING MOM -- she always has and now still gives from her heart where she is needed.

AWESOME THINGS happened through the years. The doctors told Billy he would never talk; but even when the chips were down, Billy surprised everyone by talking through a tube. Billy was told that he would not be able to go to work, but praise God, he went to work anyway in the billing department at LSU Medical Center.

And then there is this sweet answer to Billy’s prayer. He wanted a wife, and it seemed that was not going to happen. He prayed for over 20 years, and then he met his lovely wife, Cathy, at LSU. God has blessed Billy and the love of his life with 10 years of marriage.

What troopers in this family! Andy and Johnny support and love their brother intensely and want things to get better for Billy. Frank and Carol were blessed with exactly the right brothers for Billy, and they are so proud of them for their own strength through these struggling years. And God blessed even further with just the right wives -- Johnny’s wife Lisa and Billy’s wife Cathy -- so full of love and understanding and support. GOD IS SO GOOD!

There is no way in this limited space to tell about all the ups and downs in the lives of this family, but Carol shares that only with her faith in God and the love and support of Frank, Andy, Johnny, Lisa, Cathy, and Billy himself have they been able to move on in these circumstances.

One thing Carol learned is to always give the tithe to the Lord -- even when times are hard. One time, they needed to buy a suction machine and did not have the money for it. Frank said they were going to tithe anyway, and, yes, God did provide the $100 -- and it was a gift. When Billy was 6 months old, Carol said they were honored to give their testimony on tithing in hard times, and she reminds that “God blesses when you give to Him from your heart.”

There are so many good things to say about Carol Andrews! WHAT AN AMAZING WOMAN -- MOTHER AND WIFE -- with a faith that never stops! Her favorite song is “Amazing Grace” because she experiences that every day of her life. To get through the hard times, she says to draw from God’s Word. Her favorite Scripture is Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” When it hurts the worst, be sure to tithe anyway and draw close to the Lord.

GOD IS SO GOOD ! He has blessed Carol with the best Mother’s Day present ever -- truly a miracle! Billy’s vocal cords are now working, and his trachea is straight. The doctor says nothing he did caused this. AMAZING GRACE! Please pray for Billy that he will have complete healing.


May God bless you as you have blessed us!


Oh, Father, we do pray for this AMAZING MOM, Carol Andrews, and her precious family. Please continue to bless them as they move forward in their lives. We thank you, Lord, for the miracles in Billy’s life, and we pray that you will bless him with complete healing. We pray knowing that nothing is too difficult for you (Jeremiah 32:17), and we pray believing that the answer is on the way.

“As for me, I trust in you, O Lord, I say, ‘You are my God.’”

Psalm 31:14

Written By: Lavahn Stillwell

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thank God for Funnies

Washing your car at the local carwash sounds like such an easy task, and normally it is. On one particular day, I decided to take my 3-year-old grandson, Kylan, with me to help me out. I could teach him little everyday things; plus, this would be fun. What a beautiful morning God had blessed us with. We were going to enjoy our day: do a little visiting, do a little shopping --you know, that kind of stuff. But, first, we were going to get our dirty car washed!

We arrived at the carwash of choice, I grabbed my quarters, and we were ready! Kylan was going to be a big boy and help wash the car. I handed him the nozzle and told him to get ready while I put the coins in the machine.

Most machines that I’d used had the knob that you turned to whatever setting you wished. This one was a little different: it had numbers (which I hadn’t paid attention to) and pictures (which I thought were the buttons). I put the money in and kept pressing the picture; why wasn’t this thing working? I was thinking that Kylan must not be squeezing the sprayer nozzle down, but he was. As a matter of fact, he was standing facing me with the sprayer, showing me he was squeezing it. I turned to look at what else might be the problem with this old machine. OOOOh, buttons; that’s what you do. I pressed #9 and, boy, did things start happening!!!

Kylan was still facing me and still squeezing the nozzle, just like his Nonna had told him, when the machine cut on. The initial constant spray was directly on me--with force, I might add!! Poor little Kylan was so scared--his big brown eyes wide and doing his best to control the hose which was moving around uncontrollably in his little hands. I was trying to get the hose from him, and he was trying to let me have it (no pun intended), but he kept facing me, so he kept spraying me, and, well, you get the picture. I’m sure we looked like two stooges, at that point. He must have realized that dropping the sprayer and running would be the best defense because that’s exactly what he did. Needless to say, I was soaking wet, and I most definitely was on my own when it came to washing the car.

I could not stop laughing as I washed the car and as I looked at him peeping around from the other stall to watch me wash the car. I’m sure you are wondering if anyone else saw us. Well, the answer is “yes.” There were other people there vacuuming their vehicles, and we were in plain view. I’m pretty sure we made their day!!!

The moral of my story is this –“Be prepared for the unexpected and find humor in it, if at all possible!!!!!” Or, the moral of the story could be—“Pay attention.” Or—“If you don’t pay attention, be prepared for the unexpected and find humor in it, if at all possible. I wonder which one the Lord was trying to teach me that day. Regardless of the moral, we should thank God for the funnies or comical things that transpire in our normal daily walks of life just as we thank God for the serious things that transpire in our lives. I most certainly thanked God for this funny moment that I shared with my grandson. I don’t think either of us will soon forget it!

Written by Donna Melancon

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


No matter how awful our past, we can’t have a life of quality if we continue to reside there. In our lives, we have disruptions that occur. We experience things such as divorces or loved ones passing away. “Dreams fail to materialize, assumptions about life or about other people are shattered.” No matter what we experience, certain things are just painful.

When these disruptions occur, we experience emotions such as sorrow, grief, anxiety, and anger. These are all powerful emotions, and they can take a lot of energy from us, leaving us overwhelmed or making us feel as if our life is over or making us feel defeated or beaten down. While sometimes we don’t have a choice about what happens to us, we have a choice of how we respond to what has happened, and we can choose a life devoted to God by disciplining ourselves to take our sorrows to Him in prayer and turn our heart to Him, letting go of our sorrow and worshiping Him.

When we talk to God, God responds! He knows exactly what we are dealing with and exactly how to help us. By focusing on God, being faithfully committed to worshiping Him, and staying in constant communication with Him, day by day His strength will enable us to carry on. So the question is, “is your worship greater than your wound?”

We all know that sometimes “sorrow can produce bitterness and resentment, but it can also produce faith, peace, and purpose. Out of our sorrows can come serenity, graciousness, and closeness to God.” If we choose to give our heartaches to God and focus on Him daily, then we can experience serenity and graciousness, and we can also achieve closeness with God.

The more time we spend with God the more spiritually sensitive we are to God, the more our hearts will develop and grow. BLESSINGS and POWER come to the ones who constantly devote their time to God versus being “one day spiritually-on and one day spiritually-off.” At some point, we have to learn to let go of our grief and to focus on God.

When we take our hurts and our sorrows and redirect our energy to worshipping God, we overcome our sorrows. Daily communication with God is much easier than we sometimes think. No matter where we are, we can always communicate with God and glorify Him.

When we go through pain and we turn to God, we are doing more than just surviving the sorrows that we are experiencing: we are “becoming productive and acquiring a meaningful life and getting a sense of wonder.” Something that was shared with me recently that is so effective is when I find myself faced with a tough situation, I should just start to say, “God, God, God, God, God…” until He comes into focus. When we can keep our focus on God, He, in return, will help us and bless us.

Written by Donna Melancon

Inspired by the book Wonder Women of the Bible, New Hope Publishers, written by Brenda Poinsett.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


If you aren't coming to Community on Wednesday night, then you are missing out on a mid-week upper. Last night was phenomenal!

I love going because it gives me a chance to see people I haven't seen in a while because we are in two services on Sunday morning or because I'm busy with kids or women's ministry. I love going because I'm meeting people I've never met before – some are new members, some are old members and some are visitors. But even better than that, we get to meet with family, our church family and circle around tables eating with them and then praying with them. There's singing and worship. It's just an uplifting experience.

Then there was choir practice. There were 92 people there for the practice. God has given Pastor Rick the number 80, as in we should have 80 people in the early and late service singing in the choir. If you enjoy the music on Sunday morning, you should come try out the choir. You don't have to be a soloist because I assure you I am not. But last night we were raising the roof, worship God Almighty and praising His name. "For the Lord is good, and His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations!" Psalms 100:5

Last night as I was sitting in choir practice and when I was standing worshipping my Savior, it dawned on me – "For Christians, Easter is our Independence Day." When I think of Independence Day I think of freedom. We enjoy freedom in this country, and we celebrated it on Independence Day. For Christians, we have such freedom in Christ because He not only overcame death, He defeated it! And by His victory over death, I have freedom. "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." (2 Cor 3:17) That's what I felt in choir practice last night – FREE. Free from the bondage of sin. Free from fear and anxiety. I was free to open my heart to Him knowing He would never harm me. I can lay down the stresses of my day and just worship Him. He wanted to meet with me last night. I sought Him, and I found Him waiting for me with arms wide open.

Are you ready to abandon your dignity and pride? Are you ready to abandon and release your hold on what you think is important in this life? Are you ready to release your anxiety and fear? Abandon it all. Find freedom. Come Sunday morning to Calvary. Come and find freedom, excitement, energy, new life. Come find encouragement. And then, come to Community on Wednesday for an empowering and energizing time with your family.

I love you, ladies. Great things are coming. Can you feel it?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Loves Vitameatavegamin.

"Are you run-down, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Are you unpopular? Then you need Vitameatavegamin," says a sober Lucille Ball. After practicing this commercial numerous times, this wonder medicine has made her drunk, and the results are classic Lucy. "Are you run-down, listless? Do you pop out at parties? Are you unpoopular?" Lucy, Lucy, Lucy. Always trying to get on television. Always trying to be something she wasn't. Always trying to figure out what she wanted to be on television – be an ad girl, a ballet dancer, and many more.

Have you ever wondered what your purpose in life is? Have you ever looked for a place to belong? Have you ever wanted to find something that energized you? Have you ever searched for an outlet to give back? Have you ever wondered if anyone cares? This is why you should discover the gift that God has given you.

Why would anyone want to discover their spiritual gift? This gift that God gives us when He adopts us into His family that we have been carrying around day after day ever since we asked Him into our hearts – THAT GIFT.

The spiritual gifts are laid out in four locations in the Bible – Ephesians 4, I Corinthians 12, and Romans 12. Discovery of your gift is part of the process. It is part of maturing. It is developing your relationship with your Creator. Study the gifts. Ask God to reveal to you which one He has given to you. There are plenty of evaluations or questionnaires you can fill out to get a better picture of which ones may be your gifts. Then once you discover your gift, you need to exercise it.

What happens to a muscle that is not exercised? It atrophies. It decreases in size. It becomes weak, useless. Employ your gift. Find someone who has the same or similar gift as yourself who has matured and developed their gift and talk to them about it. There will be bumps along the way as you begin exercising your new gift. This reminds me of when my children first started learning how to walk. Erin was in no great rush to walk, but Pearce had places to go. They fell. The toddled, but eventually, they got the hang of it. Then we put shoes on them. Another challenge. They looked like we had put cats on a sock! They looked so funny walking with their knees all whopper-jawed, but they got it. It didn't take long for them to start running either. When we exercise our gifts, we grow.

Then, ladies, a really neat thing happens. You start feeling the Lord's prompting. You feel Him leading you to do things you wouldn't normally have done, but it's amazing because you know He is ministering to others through you. He chooses YOU! He chooses you to work through to minister to others. Is that not awesome? Is that not humbling? That feeling and knowing that He chooses to use you will energize you. It gives you your purpose. You'll find your place of service, and you'll know that your Creator cares more for you than you can ever imagine.

Discovery, Exercise, Employ, Follow – These are a recipe for a dynamic, awesome relationship with Jesus Christ. I encourage you to find you gift. Not just for yourself, but for those who He wants to minister to through you. You've been missing out carrying your unopened present around day after day. Get the lead out! Start discovering.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Putting God in a Box

One of the main themes in this season of my life is the gifts that God has so graciously given me--not just spiritual gifts, but also gifts of talent. I’ve known what my gifts are for a long time. Before I had even heard the term ‘spiritual gift,’ I knew what God had given me and how I was supposed to use it. That’s not to say that I have used it well or wisely or really that much at all, but I’m working on that area of my life. (That’s a different blog for a different day.)

My gifts are teaching and knowledge. My talents are dancing and writing. Teaching is a hereditary trait in my family. 90% of the women on both sides of my family work in education. Writing and dancing are the two things I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember. I didn’t really play much growing up: I taught dance class to my dolls and neighbors, and I wrote stories. That was my childhood.

As well as I know what my gifts and talents are, I know even better what they are not: I am not a musician in any shape or form. As a young child, I was convinced that I would one day voice a Disney princess. One afternoon, I recorded myself singing a song from “Beauty and The Beast.” Let’s just say that I was horrified when I played the tape back. I laid down my dreams of being a singer then and there. In high school, my drama coach insisted that I try out for the part of Marty Maraschino in “Grease.” She just knew I was perfect for the role. Well, bless my heart, I probably was--until the vocal part of the audition. I won’t ever forget the look on my drama coach’s face as she tried over and over to have me sing on key. She finally gave up, and I was assigned the comedic role of Jan. Unfortunately, our coach didn’t read the script correctly, and I had to sing anyway. I won the award of Best Comedic Role that year, and it was based on my singing voice! I wasn’t even trying to be funny!!

I’ve never been more aware of my lack of talent than since I married my musical genius of a husband. People have always assumed that because he is a musician, I am, too. My husband, along with everyone else close to him, was sure that the Lord would give Him a fellow worship leader as a wife. He even tried his best to turn me into one. Finally, he gave up and told me, “You just don’t hear music like normal people.” I guess I don’t.

During the fast, the Lord really began dealing with me on my lack of use of my gifts and talents. I sat down in my prayer time and surrendered them to him one by one, up until the last one--dancing. I explained to Him, “Lord, I’m in a Baptist church. How on earth am I going to serve you by dancing?”

He reminded me of one of my favorite weeks of the year--Vacation Bible School. Each year on the Sunday following VBS week, I would join our Children’s Pastor on stage and lead the children in motion and sign language to the music. The first year I participated, I was beside myself! Being able to express myself through motion in worship was like nothing I had ever experienced before. It has been one of my favorite days in my walk with God so far. I remember telling my husband, “This must be what it feels like for you every Sunday.”

The next week I spoke with our Children’s Pastor about taking on a bigger role in our upcoming VBS. A few weeks later, I found myself sitting in a room with VBS volunteers from across our region who would also be functioning in the same role as I. We started with prayer, and then our leader looked to me and asked, “So, what role do you have on your church’s worship team?” I suddenly realized that I was surrounded by worship leaders, team members, children’s choir directors---people with musical talent. “I’m just here to dance,” I told her.

She spent the next hour explaining the importance of teaching children to worship. As a mother, I felt that. I felt it deeply! She then turned to me and quoted 2 Samuel 6:14: “‘David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might.’ Worship isn’t just about the music; it’s an expression from the heart. That’s what these kids need to know.”

On the way home, I called my husband and squealed, “Babe, you are not going to believe this, but your wife is going to lead worship.”

I realized that I had put God in a box. I thought I knew the parameters of my gifts and talents. I was sure that I knew the places He could take me and the places that were impossible--even for Him. He didn’t give me a musical talent, but that doesn’t matter, for nothing is impossible with God.

Do you have a dream or desire that seems beyond impossible? Don’t lose heart; our Father is full of surprises!

‘For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

-Sunni Scott

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wonders how do you carry your spiritual gift? Do you have a designer bag?

Several weeks ago, I walked around holding a gift bag which contained a number of small, wrapped gifts. I took this bag to each of the ladies in my small group and asked them to take one. Some pulled the first available. Some saw and chose a box bigger than the others. And then when I told them I wanted them to carry it not only home but to church and to work, the ones with larger gifts exchanged it for smaller ones. Then when I told them there was really something in the box, some with smaller boxes wanted to exchange their gift for one in a larger box assuming there must be something better in a larger box.

This whole process has intrigued me. I'm really curious to know how many of the ladies are carrying their gift to work. I wonder if they are carrying it inside their homes. I wonder if anyone has asked them yet why they continue to carry around this unopened gift.

In all of my wondering, pondering, and thinking, it dawned on me that my ladies are treating the unopened gifts a lot like many Christians treat their true spiritual gifts. Once a Christian realizes they have received a spiritual gift from our heavenly Father, they begin wanting to exchange it for another gift of a different variety maybe. Then some Christians will carry their spiritual gift around, but it is hidden in the depths of their "spiritual purse" never seeing the light of day unless they decide to take it to church. Some Christians exercise their gifts occasionally at church but not necessarily at home or work. Rarely do we see the Christian who takes their spiritual gift out and use it, so it will benefit the body of Christ like He intends for us to do.

I can't wait for the ladies to open their gifts. We still have several weeks before this happens. Maybe I'll ask my ladies where they are carrying their gifts or if they've had any conversations. Either way, I think is very fascinating.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Remembering Maria

He said that there was one word that was never used in their house; my mind was flooded with ideas about what that “one word” might be. I think we were all just a little surprised when he said that they never used the word “step,” as in “step-child.” They were all just—“children.” You see—they are a blended family, and that often consists of step-sons, step-daughters, and step-parents; but not this one. I’ve known a lot of blended families and know from other people’s experiences that it can be one of the hardest things on earth to do—to blend two families into one. This family was so successful at it that it was probably eight or nine years before I knew which child was the biological child of which parent. I discovered that truth not because either parent ever told me but by putting two and two together and praying that I came up with four! This must have taken a great deal of determination and love to accomplish. That’s exactly what this young preacher explained in the next 30 minutes of the eulogy he was delivering—that of this mother (not biological). He had begun by saying that there was really nothing to be said about this beautiful lady—that her life had said it all. True—so true!

I had been blessed to know his “Re” (Maria Lorick) for probably nine or ten years and can honestly say that it was not surprising that Maria could pull off this blended-family thing. She was a one-of-a-kind woman who made me want to be a better person! She was one determined woman, and I think she could pull off anything. As is often said of someone with a strong characteristic, “Look in the dictionary; beside the term ‘steel magnolia,’ you will see a picture of Maria.” Tall, always elegant, she even looked the part, even after numerous rounds of chemo had taken her hair once again. Then she would start wearing the big-brimmed hats which always remind me of the genteel women of the South.

But she was tough as nails. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in May of 2007, she was told that she might see the Christmas of that year. Those who made the diagnosis did not know Maria---or her God! Many of us started grieving in 2007 until we realized that we were wasting our time: Maria had no intention of leaving us just yet! Christmas, 2007, came and went as did Christmas, 2008. Maria was determined to see Christmas, 2009. She was much worse by then, but she was determined to see that holiday. And just for good measure, not only did she see that special day, she threw in an extra month and four days, dying on February 4, 2010. Maria was so close to her God that it wouldn’t surprise me if she had talked Him into giving her those extra days to just show off His power and love!

She did a lot of things that she probably shouldn’t have, but she just determined that as long as she was alive, she would be alive! I received this story second-hand, but there is not a doubt in my mind that it’s true. The Lorick family always has a huge Fourth of July party. Maria had had numerous cancer-related surgeries, but she was not about to miss this big party (or anything it offered!) just because of a few little surgeries. Her family tried to talk her out of going down the water slide—wasted breath. In retrospect, I have to laugh at their even trying to do that. It is my understanding that Maria went down the water slide (with her surgeon looking on and praying, I’m sure) singing, “It’s my party, and I’ll slide if I want to.” Just that mental picture makes me smile. Life was good for Maria—even when it wasn’t!

In addition to being tough, she was the most loving person I think I’ve ever known. Throughout all the years I knew her, not one phone conversation ever ended without her saying, “Love you.” Not one visit ended without a hug and her saying, “Love you.” The amazing thing is that I’m sure she always meant it. She had so much of God’s love in her that it just had to come out some way, so she shared it with everyone. Before the funeral, I had told someone that I couldn’t imagine Maria’s ever saying anything bad about anyone; not many of us can claim that one. During the eulogy, the young son/pastor proved my point; he said that his wife had noted that in the ten years that she had been a family member, Maria had never said anything negative to or about anyone. Amazing love! But that was Maria!

I learned so much from her (including how to die and still witness and minister to others) that I could go on and on. I’m going to miss her! We’re all to be striving to emulate Jesus in our everyday lives, and if we’re lucky, at some point in time, we will have a “Maria” in our lives to remind us of what He wants us to be! At the funeral service, the family handed out teal bracelets to remind us of “Ovarian Cancer Awareness.” I wear mine every day to remind me not only to be praying for a cure for that awful disease but of Maria. And there’s just no escaping it: when I think of her, my mind goes to her God—my God! As I said, she makes me want to be a better person!