Monday, July 23, 2012

Will It Be You?

Here we are over half way in 2012.  Every year we hear a new saying for what will happen in that particular year. Life is great in 2008 or year of heaven in 2011.  We start each year with great expectation but seldom does the year end with much excitement or accomplishment.  Let’s make this year different.

As John ended his Home Depot employment, we just knew that he would finally get the house finished and would be able to volunteer at the church and start getting to “Gods Work”.  Wow, were we mistaken!!  We have had a revelation that “the house will never be done”.  For every one project he does two take its place.  As for the church work, he got poison ivy so bad it took a month and two doctors to get rid of it!

There is a point to this.  We cannot all be involved in some big television ministry or preach to thousands.  We are however all given a missions field right where we are.  It may be a smile and a kind word.  It may be a helping hand to someone in need.  There is a song by a country group (Sawyer Brown) titled “They Don’t Understand”. You will most likely not know why people are the way they are, but know this- they have come into contact with you for a reason.  God has destined them to cross your path for something you can offer them, HIM. 

When you are mad about getting in the wrong line at the store and the person holding up the line needs a couple dollars-Will it be you?  When a stranger is crying and needs a friend-Will it be you?  When you there is trash on the church floor-Will it be you?  We may never know how our actions influence others or what a random act of kindness will do.  We don’t understand others or what they are going through at the moment our paths cross- but God does….God just wants us to know that “IT WILL BE YOU”!  It will be you that makes a difference in someone’s life!!!!  Allow Him to reach others in the ways you would never expect.  Don’t limit God to how you think He can or can’t use you!!  Allow Him be God to someone else through you.  IT WILL BE YOU
 Mary BethJ

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Give Thanks For He Is Good

I’m just going to confess here. I don’t wake up every morning bursting with energy and motivation to get out of my warm comfortable bed and go to work. Every time I go in to work, my day consists of sweat, exhaustion, achy muscles, aggravation, chaos, and stress. It's actually amazing that I've been able to handle it every day. Only by God's grace. I even came across a gentleman standing at the cash register asking the cashier about her day. She explained. All he said was, "may God give you grace for your day". I know he was talking to her, but I received that for myself! I will gladly take all the grace I can get to do my job because to be honest, this is the hardest job I've ever had. Yet it's the best job I've ever had. It depends on how you look at it. Sure I have my share of complaints about the job. But when I begin to think about where I was, and what God has done for instantly changes my perspective and attitude. Acknowledging God's goodness in my life in this specific time and place, and being thankful for  it, is a great motivation to me. In fact, thankfulness has been the key to helping me staying focused on my purpose, which is Him. Being thankful not only in my words, but also my actions is pleasing to God. My way of thanking Him for all He has done, is to get my big booty out of the bed and go to work and work so hard until I feel like passing out. Trust me, it isn't easy. But I can't, and I won't, forget what God has done for me. He answered my prayers for a better job. You bet the enemy has wrapped this treasure in all the hard stuff that comes with the job. My husband and I work so much these days. Even though it breaks my heart that we don't have any days off together, I've come to realize this is the season we are in, and God is using this to help us pay off our bills that we may not otherwise be able to do. So for that I am thankful. Sometimes we have to dissect the hard stuff to pull out all the good in our situations.

Kind of like a treasure chest buried in 8 feet of sand with one or two crabs and a few scorpions.You know you'll be digging up that treasure in no time, no matter what is in the way. Whatever season or storm God has you in right now, just know that there is a good reason for it. We have to just trust Him and his ways. We have to lean on His understanding not our own. I've come to realize that I know nothing compared to the knowledge of the infinite God. He sees everything in our past and future. His goodness exists in every area of our lives like a hand print if we just look for it. Choosing to be thankful is a great start to our treasure hunt. Every failure will lead to a victory....every wrong step taken will lead us down a wiser path....every broken heart will lead us to our destiny. Our trials, storms, and seasons are there to make us better and stronger than we  were before. Any dream and desire God puts in our hearts can happen. But if it doesn't, that just means that your heart is far more important to Him than anything. God loves us. Look what He has done for your life from past to present. He wouldn't put us in a position we couldn't handle. Whatever your job may be, or your position, or your season in life...God's goodness exists in it. Look for it. And thank Him for all the good He's doing that we may have not noticed outside of our negative attitude and outlook. Give thanks, for He is so good.

Amanda B

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wonderfully Made

Have you ever been to a piano recital, where an aspiring pianist came up with their first original masterpiece? To hear such a great accomplishment and fell the electrifying birth of such greatness make you feel so very happy and proud.
Going to museums throughout my lifetime I have seen some of the most valuable art pieces that exist and have seen some that I wish didn't We each have our own thoughts, likes and loves when it comes to art.

What I think most beautiful is works by the late Thomas Kincade and I know it is not a Picasso, but it is arts that reflects & relates love, peace, joy and light. He was called "The Painter of Light", because even the darkest of midnight painting still reflected light some place or somewhere...that simple ray of light., that light brought hope to millions. Thomas Kincade died from complication related to alcohol and drugs. Many may set in judgement of him, but I for one stand amazed and blessed at the masterpieces he created that really showed "The Light".

When your child makes you their artistic endeavor, it becomes a piece of art that is displayed on the fridge and may still be tucked away somewhere even after many, many years. That creation we feels is the most beautiful because our child did it with their own two hands and it was made just for us.

We tend to forget that our heavenly Father feels the very same way about us. We are His creation, formed in His likeness and image. I remember the song I taught my kids " Red and yellow, black and white. We are precious in His site,Jesus loves the children of the world. Well, we are still His children no matter if you are 1 or past 100, it does not matter to Him. HE LOVES US and we need to remember that everyday. We are His pride and joy.

Ephesians 2: 10 " For we are God's masterpiece. He has created
us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do things He planned for us long ago."


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Light of Hope

A week ago we were at Cades Cove for the day. This is one of my most favorite spots! I have always looked at that area as a place of complete relaxation and where I can enjoy God's beauty. I have gone there to celebrate, de-stress, laugh, and cry. Sometimes all of those things in one day! I seem to let my guard down more there than usual. This allows me to be more open to God. That's probably why I have always enjoyed the work of Thomas Kinkade. I wanted to share with you one of my favorite passages from Thomas Kinkade. The last sentence is what I have had to remember through the years. I can only imagine what he is painting now!

Light of Hope

Through the trees, the peaceful streams, the gentle rays of light, my hope unfolds on canvas—a hope for a better world for my children and of a future hope in heaven.

I know such yearnings are not in vain. God paints the same optimistic picture in His Word and makes my hope sure through His Son.

Though at times the picture of life seems misshappen—with lines disjointed and colors clashing—God sees a different beauty. It's simply my job to trust His design and await with anticipation the unveiling of His final masterpiece.
                                                                                                                by Thomas Kinkade

Julie Powell

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Drawing Near To Him

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; 
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” - Psalms 46:10 (NIV)

“As the deer pants for streams of water, 
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. 
When can I go and meet with God?” - Psalms 42:1-2 (NIV)

As long as I can remember I have always had a place where I would go and “meet” God.  A special place where I would take my bible and journal, later my guitar would join the mix and I would go and be still and be with my God.  Just a girl and her God.  

When I lived in New Hampshire it was the beach in Maine, the drive alone, about an hour; would just get me in a place of quiet. Of peace.  I would shut out the world and its distractions and sit on the beach and listen to the wind and the waves and the still small voice that would minister to my soul. 

When I lived in Utah, there were two places I would go, one was a Monastery where the Monks would make and sell jam and you could go and listen to their prayer time.  Something about being there just brought a settling peace around you, you just had to be quiet there, not because of some arbitrary rule but because you knew you where in the presence of God.  Then there was the amazing scenic overlook that looked across the Weber mountains, a 360 degree view of the beauty only a truly loving Father could paint for His children to enjoy.

A few weeks ago in church we had a message about prayer and listening to that still small voice, and as a congregation we all were silent, and not the kind of silent where you think about where you are going for lunch after service but the kind where you know - you expect God to speak to you.  
I think that as a people we generally don’t take that time to listen to actually be still.  Completely still.  And listen.  To shut off our inner voice, our inner grocery and to do list that we are constantly making and to be still.  And expect God to speak to us. 

“But as for me, it is good to be near God...” Psalms 73:28 (NIV)

For me, when I haven’t been taking the time to “Be still” and listen to what God has to say, what direction He has to give, it will come when I have just drifted off to sleep, that time where you aren’t fully awake and aren’t fully asleep (where Peter Pan lives).  That is when I have just finished thanking Him for the day, and praying for peaceful sleep where He comes close and whispers in my ear all that He has for me.  

Psalms is full to overflowing of all the ways and times that God is near to us, how He will save us, defeat our enemies, tear down strong holds and will save us from destruction, and will guide our path, carry us through and sustain us.  And all we need to do is to draw near to Him. 

Sarah MS

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Culture, Culture Everywhere And Not A Drop To Drink (or something like that)

Today, we hear the word “culture” quite often.  There’s Western culture, Southern culture, Star Wars culture, Christian culture…culture, culture, culture.  There’s even something going on right now that is termed as a “Culture War.”


Can’t we all just get along? 

Webster’s defines the word “culture” in a few different ways, but the most basic and intrinsic one I believe is this: 

The act or process of cultivating living material (as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient media; also: a product of such cultivation.

 With the type of news headlines we read about today, it is so tempting for us as Christians to retreat into our own little petri dish of “Christian” prepared nutrient and let the rest of the world burn.  I think by labeling so much of what we do as “Christian” we have done that to some extent.  We’ve created a sort of an ‘us vs. them’ mentality.  Consider…do you listen to “Christian” music or “secular” music? Watch “Christian” television or “secular” television?   

What, exactly, makes music “Christian?”  Does it have to mention Jesus’ name?   Does it have to be a certain tempo, or have so many bible verse mentions?  Would Jesus have listened to it?  

Does He listen to it? 

I don’t know.  Seems to me that there’s just as much ego and me, me, me, in “Christian” music as there is in “secular.” 

I’m picking on the label of “Christian” music, but that’s really not the problem.  It’s just a symptom.  

As I said, it’s really tempting to retreat into our little “Christian” petri dishes and never interact with the outside world.  But if we do that, we can’t affect the world.  In truth, we’re being cowards I think. 

Jesus lived in a very specific type of culture, it was rigid with its rules and traditions and buddy, if you crossed it or broke it you were out of the club.  There was a lot of cruelty and intolerance in His time.  He could have just hung back and cared only about Jewish people and preserving their way of life.  But He didn’t.  See, here’s the thing…Jesus didn’t come to be part of a culture or club.  He didn’t die a terrifying and horrible death so that we could have a membership to a super-duper secret sect that only lets certain people in…people with no tattoos, strange hair styles or funny ideas about infecting the world with Jesus.   

In fact, I’m not sure Jesus would wear a cross around His neck if He were here today. 

Whatever you want to say about Him, Jesus was not a pansy.  He was courageous and brave.  He faced down evil every second of every day while He was here on earth.  Pain was not His way of doing things (that was our choice), but He took it from us and scarred His own body so that we could live.  While He was at the cross, somebody tried to give Him some ease from what was about to come: 

“Then they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.  They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it. And they crucified Him…)” ~ Mark 15:22-24 (NASB.)

From Clarke’s commentary on the Bible: 

It was a common custom to administer a stupefying potion compounded of sour wine, which is the same as vinegar, from the French vinaigre, frankincense, and myrrh, to condemned persons, to help alleviate their sufferings, or so disturb their intellect that they might not be sensible of them.  The rabbins say that they put a grain of frankincense into a cup of strong wine; and they ground this on Proverbs 31:6, ‘Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish,’ i.e. who is condemned to death.  Some person, out of kindness, appears to have administered this to our blessed Lord; but He, as in all other cases, determining to endure the fullness of pain, refused to take what was thus offered to him, choosing to tread the winepress alone.”

Jesus never backed down.  Not even at the last. 

We live in a world that is evil, full of pain, envy, strife, discontentment, disillusionment and hatred.   It has been that way since The Fall.  People didn't understand Jesus (they still don't) and they're not always going to understand us.  They may react in anger, and try to hurt us or call us stupid and accuse us of believing in fairy tales.   In spite of all that, I challenge us all to be brave and be like Him.  Let us not hide our heads and retreat into our “culture”…let’s get out there and open our eyes, open our hearts and let Jesus love this world through us. 

Today, don’t back down. 

“Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed.  AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;…” 1 Peter 3:13-15 (NASB)

Much love, 


Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Safe Place

When I was 4 1/2 years old my father became very ill. My parents had five children at that time, two older than myself and two younger. Being a middle child and one who had a tendency to be hyperactive, my mother didn’t have much of a choice. Having her hands more than full I was sent to live temporarily with an aunt and uncle in Kentucky. It may sound awful that a child so young had to leave home and at the time it probably felt frightening. To be honest, I don’t remember the fear. My cousins were much older than I was and it was like being the baby. I enjoyed the attention. My aunt and uncle had three children. My cousin, Woody was the youngest and 11 years older than myself. I got lots of loving from all of them. My heart was stolen though by my Aunt Anna. I loved every move she made. She and my uncle were both school teachers, hard workers and loved working their farm.
I hung pretty close to my Aunt Anna and even after my father improved and I was taken back home my heart longed for her. She had become my safe place. My two older brothers were very mischievous and would scheme against me. My father would discipline them but that was not a deterrent to them. When home, I tried to stay close to my father (he became my base, my safe place) but he couldn’t be everywhere. I remember running to him once and grabbing his leg. He looked down at me and ask if anything was wrong. I looked up and said, “Not now.” He smiled, picked me up and held me for a while.
Every summer though I would beg to go stay with Aunt Anna. I didn’t mind the farm work if I could just be there. I remember the first hugs of summer. She would be waiting on the porch for me as we pulled up into the driveway. I would jump out of the car and head for her arms. Oh, how I loved that moment. As I grew she taught me to wash clothes with a ringer washer, churn butter, can vegetables, and my uncle taught me to work the garden. I didn’t enjoy all the work sometimes but was very willing just to be there with her. She was my safe place. Her love, kindness and attention meant the world to me.
Today, I have a wonderful husband, and a family of my own. My brothers have grown and apologized for working so hard at destroying me. Still yet, there are times when life gets tough and Satan schemes to destroy me. I can’t run to Aunt Anna, or my father they are both with Jesus but I do have a safe place to run. Just like the time when I grabbed my father’s leg and he asked if anything was wrong, I now run to my heavenly father. Once I grab a hold of Him I know everything is going to be ok. Unlike, my earthly father, my heavenly father can be with me everywhere. He is always with me. So when I am being chased I run directly to Him and grab a hold of my safe place.
Psalm 27:5
New International Version (NIV)
"For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock."
I am safe in His dwelling (presence). A place to hide from the enemy. :)
Barbara M.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Ladies, I hope you don't mind that I have shared something my husband wrote again.  This is something that has been on our hearts a lot lately & John could not keep it bottled up!  I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me:)

The wages of sin is death. That is a statement not just for some sin, but all sin.  The best part of that scripture is God’s gift, which is eternal life through Christ our Lord.
I have noticed lately that Christians are becoming extremely critical over what they consider sin.  We seem to have become judges of individuals and group we consider sinners. Christ did not use condemnation to deal with sinful people.  He showed love to them and gave them an alternative to that sin.

One of the latest examples is the boycotting of a local box store for their stand on hiring and promoting homosexuals.  I find this interesting. I happen to work for this company and so does my wife.  Our individual store has many more Christians than homosexuals.  I have noticed that we are all sinners and are searching for something.  In my life, I  prefer Loving to condemnation, hate and judgment.

I am a retired Law Enforcement Officer from Florida and my wife is the best homemaker ever.  When it came time to retire, God moved us to Tennessee to minister the gospel of Christ.  My thought was doing outreach in a local church or working in a youth camp.  There were so many opportunities that we believed were in our future.   So what did God have for us?  We both went to work for that home improvement center.  God decided that our ministry field was the employees and customers that need God’s love in their lives.  For the past two years we have had opportunities to minister to drunks, drug addicts, adulterers and even homosexuals.  The one thing I am certain of is God loves them all and that no one sin is worse than the others are .
One of the young women had spoken to my wife.  She said I know that you are a Christian can I talk to you.  She asked my wife if her lifestyle offended her and went on to tell my wife that her mom told her she was going to hell for being a homosexual because God hates homosexuals.  This is obviously a person who is searching for something other than what they have.  Homosexuality is not the problem here.  Sin is the problem.  God giving us Jesus as the example of true love is a much better response than pointing out sin, which she already knows she has.  She wanted to know about a God who loves her not one who wants her in hell.  I am not saying sugarcoat sin but showing that there is a way out of that sin with a bonus of eternal life with Christ.

I was a good sinner.  I drank, smoked and ran around all night.  My life was a mess.  When I found God He met me in that place.  I was drunk at that time. He didn’t care.  He took me as His own with all my faults.  As time went on He helped me change.  He has never loved me more than that night.  Whether in sin or not, God loves you.
My final thought is…..  For God so loved the world that he gave……  Why don’t we try to give some of that Love,  We all need it!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Say No To Negative

We were always told when we were younger to say no to drugs because they were bad for us and they would do harm to our bodies. But the one thing I was never taught was to say no to negative words or thoughts. In fact the majority of my family is very good at complaining. I grew up the same way. My whole life, if something didn't go my way, I would have something bad to say about it. If I was sick I just accepted it. I got so good at accepting all of the bad things, I didn't know how to speak of anything good. That included my thought about myself. But over the course of 9 years, I have been very blessed to be rooted in a church that is very positive. Until then I didn't know about faith or how to speak good things into my life. I would hear other people saying these positive things and I thought they were crazy. But the more positive they spoke into me, the better I began to feel about myself and my life...finally. 

It has just been over the past four months that The Lord has really help me to realize how vital it is to speak positive into your life and to other's lives. Especially when you work around a lot of negative people. If you're grounded in God, when those negative remarks come at you, you'll be able to bounce them off you like a ping pong ball. The enemy is always lurking around the corner waiting for opportunities to feed us negative thoughts. However more often than not, we are our own worst enemy. When a bad situation arises, it is so easy to accept it and assume it will never get better. Especially if we have been going through the same stuff for the past ten years. In my life, over the past ten years, my husband and I have been trying to have children. Most people I know are already aware of this, and I hate to keep bringing it up, but this has been an area in my life that has experienced the most growth and has helped me to have complete reliance upon God. It's my testimony. Always will be. I'm not really upset any more that I am having to wait. Some days, I get really impatient and throw a fit. Most days I am hopeful for what's to come. It would be really easy for me to listen to those negative voices in my head and from other people telling me to give up and accept the fact I'll never have children. Absolutely not. I've surrendered my plans to God for His plans. But I refuse to wave a white flag of surrender in front of my enemy. He obviously doesn't know how stubborn and determined I am. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many responses I get from people wondering why I don't have kids yet. The first question they ask me is if I am able to get pregnant. To this world, it's extremely odd to be married for over nine years and not have children unless there is something wrong with you. I've already fought the negative voices in my head trying to get me to give up on this dream. And just so you know, I am still winning. Whatever your dreams are or your circumstances, don't give up. Keep positive and fight the negative. Don't throw in the towel just yet. Keep saying no to all that negative that keeps getting into your head. It is not from God. He has never been and never will be negative in any way to His children. 

James 4:7 says..."Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you".

RESIST means to abstain from or oppose. SUBMIT means to yield to the power or authority of another. If we are submitting to God we are allowing Him and His authority to have the say so over things we say and do, and we are aligning ourselves up with the word of God, therefore automatically resisting any power of the enemy. Speaking and thinking positive is like planting a seed. Positive words water it. Negative words choke it and kill it. So whatever dreams God has placed in your heart, be careful how you treat it. Whichever one you feed is the one that will grow and live. So say no to negative and stay positive!


Amanda B

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"How do I love the let me count the ways"

Remember that line from Robert Browning's famous poem in school???.......have you ever used that line to your spouse or loved one?......Have you ever used that line with your Savior Jesus Christ?..........Are there enough words in your vocabulary to tell Jesus how much you love Him?

As a 9 year old child , I was told if I joined the church I was saved.......there was no mention of personal relationship, devoting time to the Word,time for prayer, time for praise or even water baptism , much less baptism of the Holy Ghost.

For almost 20 years I lived a life that was truly not acceptable to Jesus.Even though I taught Sunday School as a teenager, I partied like there was no tomorrow, drank alcohol as an everyday staple and never ever gave another thought until I had a child of my own , that Jesus needed to be in my life, my love and be my everything.
While pregnant with my daughter Angel, which was my eleventh pregnancy, but yet only my second child to live, I visited a small Baptist church where there was a 90 year old evangelist holding revival. He explained the plan of salvation and exactly what it meant to be a Christian and to live a daily life in love with the One who gave everything for me. I RAN to the alter when the alter call was given, and this time I wanted it all.....I studied my Bible like there was no tomorrow and began asking questions my Baptist pastor was not comfortable answering.....after giving birth to my daughter I began going to Women's Aglow meetings and learning there was a deeper love in Christ and a relationship like no other. I asked my sweet Baptist pastor the 1 question that he stammered over like crazy..."What is the baptism of the Holy Ghost?"......I wanted everything I had heard at the Aglow meetings and his answer was that, that was only for the disciples back then, not for me....I questioned Acts 1:8, Acts 2:17, Romans 12 : 6, Hebrews 6 : 4- 5...and list went on and on, yet the answer was always the same and yet I knew there was more, much more.

I began visiting different churches when Angel was 8 weeks old. The very first Sunday I visited Jonesboro Church of God I was handed the Sunday School leaflet. I got my children settled in their classes and went and sat down in the adult class and looked at the lesson for the day. The title was " Holy Ghost Baptism For Today"......can you say my heart lept with joy and love and everything just overflowed.
I knew right then this was where Christ wanted me to grow and learn and be healthy in His Word. The Sunday School teacher's name was Billy Bostwick and when he explained the lesson it made so much sense . All those questions I had had for months and months now had answers and Godly Biblical answers. I spoke with the pastor, Rev. Furman Green after church and told him what a blessing the lesson had been and that I would be back. Even though many obstacles came my way, Satan would throw everything he could at me, I received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost in March of 1974 and have not looked back but forward. I learned a love that no poet could ever explain , because there are not enough words to explain the magnitude of His great love and the depths of all He gave....and He did it all for me .

Now write your list of love, count the ways He has loved you, how He continues to love you, how He will always love you. Can you count the ways?????....are there enough fingers and toes, enough hours in the day, enough days in the year to count His undying love.........
How do I love thee, let me count the ways ........there is no way to count it all!

A Vessel 4 Him 2 Dwell,


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cleaning Negativity Out Of Your Life!

While talking to a friend this week that has just been diagnosed with MS, I advised her to shut out negative speakers and get rid of any doctors that were speaking the words you can't or you will never. She wanted to know about my experience and how I've handled it. I told her I was a living example of calling things that are not as though they were. (Romans 4:17)

My first neurologist was a strong negative speaker. I had lost the feeling of one side of my body, my entire head and throat. At this point I couldn't do anything without help. Not even go to the bathroom. It was probably one of the lowest times in my life. With children ages 1, 2, & 4 at the time, now my husband had a 4th  child to take care of. My doctor had used the words can't and never a lot! A few things I would never do again according to, walk without assistance, or go back to doing hair. He wanted to hook me up with a lawyer to help me file for disability. He said the sooner I accepted what I couldn't do anymore, the easier it would be.

By Easter Sunday 2003, I had gotten a little of the feeling back but according to the doctor I had passed the point of getting anything else back. It was Easter Sunday and at the church we were going to at the time, they did your typical Easter play that morning. The closer to the resurrection it got, the angrier I got. Steve at one point ask me if I was OK. I think I barked back some short answer. I was sitting there being reminded of what Jesus had done for me! My gosh, He died on the cross for me and I'm sitting here in an extremely pitiful state! I kept hearing the song, Trading my Sorrows in my head!

I'm trading my sorrows I'm trading my shame I'm laying them down For the joy of the Lord I'm trading my sickness I'm trading my pain I'm laying them down For the joy of the Lord Singing Yes, Lord, Yes Lord Yes, Yes Lord[ Yes Lord, Yes Lord Yes, Yes Lord Yes Lord, Yes Lord Yes, Yes Lord Amen I'm trading my wealth I'm trading my pain I'm laying them down To the Joy of the Lord.

By the time the sun went down that Easter Sunday, I had regained everything I had lost!

Now it wasn't easy. I will never forget that 1st haircut I did after that. I cut Anna's bangs in our front yard. It was very hard. It took me about 15 minutes to do what normally would have taken my under 5. It was painful and I was brought to tears with the frustration I was feeling. But I didn't quit!

Eventually, I went back to driving, walking normal, and doing hair again. It was after that in 2006 that I opened my own beauty shop. I've had hard times since then where I've lost this function or that. I've fought some battles, but I've never quit or lost faith. And I did change to a neurologist that has a positive never quit attitude.

Whatever your battle is, never lose faith, never give up, and get rid of any little negative birds that are in your ear!

If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

Love, Julie Powell

Monday, April 9, 2012

Some Thoughts About Prayer

I’ve been studying prayer for a few years and had decided to present some thoughts
to you all through my devotional long before Pastor asked Gary to teach on that subject.
So I’m going to go ahead as I don’t think we can learn too much about prayer.

First, what is prayer not? Prayer is NOT crying and/or pleading our cause. God is not
moved by our tears to do anything. He wants to give us what we want/need even
more than we want/need it. He is a god and loving God. Crying and begging are
unbelief in God’s goodness. (Ps.103:2)

Prayer is not praying over and over the same thing and just asking endlessly. Long
prayers do not get answered quicker or better than short ones.

Prayer is not telling God how to answer our prayers. Only He knows the best way, and He
know ways we can’t even imagine. Telling Him how is just saying “Hey, I know better than
You, God, so do it this way.” (You will be surprised how often we do this. I was.)

Prayer IS standing in the gap.(Ez.22:30) God looks for someone to “stand in the gap” for
peoples’ or nations’ needs. The gap is the space between the supernatural (where God
is} and the natural (where we are) . God does not do anything except through His people.
So God has determined that someone needs to stand in the gap and be a conduit (so to speak)
for His power and desires to flow through. God called His people “silver” (Ps.66:10).
Silver is the best know conduit for power that exists.

Prayer is, therefore, standing in the gap and being a conduit which God’s power flows through
to reach and answer your prayers for yourself or others. It is stating the need to God and then
expecting an answer no matter how long it takes.

Prayer is being led by the Holy Spirit as to what our prayer should be. He will lead us to pray for
certain people or groups or events, etc. The Holy Spirit will lead us to pray for what God wants,
and that should be our greatest desire. When we know what God wants in a situation, we can
be sure that our prayer will be answered. This includes what God wants for ourselves. If we
can tune into what He wans for us and then stand in the gap for ourselves, we can absolutely
expect a positive answer. (He puts His desires into our hearts so then they become the desires
of OUR hearts.)

The difficult part, at least to me, is listening to and hearing the Holy Spirit instead of our own
desires or our intellect. But He is willing to help us walk in the light and to bless us abundantly.
Remember, He always knows what is best for us and the best way to bring it about. It is well
worth the effort to spend enough time with God so that we can begin to hear His heart in any matter.

Love you all, Terry 

Monday, April 2, 2012

His Presence

I grew up in a Baptist church and lately I keep finding myself singing this old hymn.
I believe the Spirit is keeping it on my mind so I don't forget and neglect my source.
I wanted to share it's words with you this morning in case any of you are like me and
continuously need a reminder of "From whence commeth my help."

Sweet Hour of Prayer
Wm. B Bradbury

Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer! That calls me from a world of care,
and bids me at my Father's throne make all my wants and wishes known;
In seasons of distress and grief, my soul has often found relief,
and oft escaped the tempter's snare by thy return, sweet hour of prayer.

Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer! Thy wings shall my petition bare
to Him whose trust and faithfulness engage the waiting soul to bless;
and since He bids me seek His face, believe His word and trust His grace,
I'll cast on Him my every care, and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer.

Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer! May I thy consolation share,
till from Mount Pisgah's lofty height, I view my home, and take my flight:
This robe of flesh I'll drop, and rise to seize the everlasting prize;
And shout, while passing through the air, farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer.

Hebrews 10:19-23: 

"Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is His flesh, and
since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere
heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from as evil conscience
and our bodies washed pure and clean. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without
wavering, for He who promised is faithful;"

Love to you all!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


A few months back we started a season of intense prayer in our church body.  During a corporate time of prayer, our Pastor was calling out needs and having people come forward for prayer.  The typical needs such as healing, finances, unsaved loved were all mentioned.  The time was beautiful.  The Spirit moved and many received a touch from God.  Being a bit cynical I wondered how many received answers to the prayer and how many left with the same need they came in with.

 As I sat and prayed, I realized that some had been praying for these same things for a prolonged period of time.  This included us.  We have been believing for a home and some property to sell for several years.  We had gone back and forth with contracts and offers only to have them fall apart.   We knew that God had a plan for us but as with most of us we wanted this done now instead of  later.

I had been asking for these things with such a burden, but my lack of understanding was keeping me from seeing outside of my situation.  I prayed, I wept, why doesn’t the body receive more answers to prayer.  I realize that need is a strong motivator to spend time with God.  There must be more than just this.  Where is the faith, where is knowledge of God’s way. What is the missing factor?  Christians have been taught how to pray to get what we need or have we?

I told God that if there were more prayers answered people would be more willing to follow Him.  If it were just quicker people would be more inclined to talk to him.  In my impatience I just came out and asked, why does  it takes so long to get prayers answered?  I should have known better.

As He started my education that day, I knew that I had missed the point of what was going on.  I do not know if I can get this across like He did but we will  see.  Prayer was never designed to be a wish list that we give over and over until we get what we are wanting or think we want.  God’s desire is the same as it was in Adam’s time.  God had come to walk with Adam in the Garden.  He longed for an intimate time with man.  To hear what man thought and to discuss what He had planned for man.

God longs to answer prayer.  He wants to give to His Children, but He also knows what we truly need. For God shall supply all our needs according to His riches in glory.  Unfortunately needs are much different than wants.  What are the true motives for your prayers?

God has a plan for each of us from the beginning of time.  The Bible says that He has known you from the very beginning, from your mother’s womb.   He knows how this all plays out.  He knows what will happen and how to get us to the place we need to be for His glory.  His design is that we are to be His arms on this earth. He is able to use your situation to work His will.  Your money problems are not a problem to Him.  Your money problems may be to teach you better responsibility or maybe just a chance for someone to learn that it is better to give than receive. Do we want to be used by God or just get what we want?  God’s love for us is unending.  Christ died because of God’s love of mankind.  God’s desire is for us to learn to be like Christ. Seeking what is best for the Body of Christ and not always what best for us. 

Last but not least.  Rejoice.  The body needs to be grateful.  In America, we have so much, but many want more.  I myself have said  “our two vehicles have over 100,00 miles”.  We then proceed to pray for a new car.   God said where is the gratitude for having two cars? Where is the rejoicing that they start and get you back and forth. Be thankful that when something happens they can be repaired.  What about those who have no car?   Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.  We have so much to rejoice about.  Gratitude produces joy for both the giver and receiver. 

Next time you spend time in prayer let us consider the following.  God loves us, His plan is to use us and give us His very best.  What we are going through is no surprise to Him.  He wants to know how we feel but also wants to share with you what He wants to do with your circumstance.  He wants to bless others through you as well as bless you.  You may be the only one who can reach one of the lost by what you are dealing with.  Most important is rejoice.  He has given so much to us. Let our lives show Him gratitude for all we have as He works with us and through us.
Ladies, I hope you enjoy this post...I cannot take any credit for husband wrote this the other night & I felt it was too good not to share.    Mary Beth

Sunday, March 18, 2012

He Loves Us!

It has happened many times in my life where I am in the middle of doing something or getting ready to do something when God has changed my thoughts, direction, or both at the last second. Lots of those times I can look back and see clearly what would or could have happened if I hadn't listened. Other times I have found myself recovering from what happened as a result of me not listening. I no longer get mad if I miss my turn while driving. I just say, “thank-you Lord!” Who knows what was just avoided by me not being on that particular road at that particular time.

 A few days ago while we were in the middle of taking down a tree in our yard one limb at a time, I had the bright idea to tie a rope to the limbs that weren't going to fall where we wanted them to. I would stand back and pull while Steve cut. I had the rope wrapped around both hands, had my heels dug in, and told Steve to start cutting. He fired up the chainsaw and started cutting. Less than 3 seconds before The limb fell I had a vision of me being yanked across the yard and a broken wrist or two. That would be severe to anyone and a nightmare for a beautician! I quickly unwrapped my hands. End result was a limb that fell where it wanted to, minor rope burns on my hands, and sore shoulders. That's just the latest thing, that I am aware of, where God saved me at the last second!
It was just another reminder of how blessed I am and how much God loves me!

All of his children are blessed and loved! We know that, but sometimes we forget that.
He will always be our biggest fan. He will always guide us in the right direction. And He will always be there to comfort and help us pick up the pieces if we make a mess out of our lives.

 He loves us!

Love, Julie Powell

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Don't Be Discouraged With The Storm

  There are four thoughts I would like for us to concentrate on from Genesis 6:8—Genesis 8:1.
1) Noah found grace  (6:8)
2) Noah walked with God  (6:9)
3) Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him  (7:5)
4) And God remembered Noah  (8:1)

Noah found grace—Oh, the favor of God!  What a wonderful thing!  Why did Noah find grace from the Lord? 

Noah walked with God—when no one else was listening or cared to hear the message of the Lord, Noah was walking with Him and paying attention to the Lord's heart. 

Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him—The Lord gave Noah what seemed like an impossible mission to accomplish.  He gave Noah precise directions and Noah obeyed but it didn’t keep Noah from going through the storm, as a matter of fact the boat ride felt like it would never end.  They were on that ark for over a year. *   The whole time the storm was raging Noah and his family were safe.  It was an uncomfortable situation….long and stinky, but God kept Noah safe.  Sometimes our storms don’t seem like the grace of God but it was for Noah.  It was his protection, provision, and gave him his destination and purpose.  Noah’s obedience brought life back to the earth.  Our obedience through the storms can bring life into our situations.

And God remembered Noah—what a blessing to have God thinking about you.  When the scripture said that God “remember” Noah it doesn’t mean that God had forgotten him.  It simply means that in the midst of the great flood God stayed true to his promises. 
Psalm 40:5  Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.

Many times our storms will change the direction or perception of our lives.  God will keep His promises and use our circumstances to bring blessings as well as His perfect direction to us.  Don’t be discouraged with the storm.

Love you,
Barbara Mitchell

* Noah's long wait.  I'm grateful I don't have to scoop elephant poo.     :)
• Noah entered the ark when he was 600 years, 2 months, and 10 days old.
• Seven days later the rain began to fall.
• The rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights.
• The “fountains of the great deep” (evidently subterranean caverns) also burst forth with water.
• The floodwaters spread across the entire earth, covering the mountains to a depth of 20 feet.
• All living creatures on dry land were wiped out.
• The flood covered the earth for 150 days.
• As the floodwaters receded, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, evidently the region of far eastern Turkey, near the border with Russia.
• Seventy-four days later the tops of the mountains became visible.
• Forty days later Noah sent out a raven.
• Noah then sent out a dove on three occasions. The third time it did not return.
• Two weeks later he saw dry land.
• Noah stayed in the ark another 57 days until the Lord told him to leave.
• Noah was 601 years, 2 months, and 27 days old when he left the ark.