Thursday, August 28, 2008

The 2 Things You Will Never Forget

I had the awesome privilege of speaking at a Senior Club luncheon today.

I was contacted to speak, and we made all of the preparations and hurried over this morning, only to find out that they had canceled us.


But, since we were there, they decided to let us speak briefly.

10 minutes was all I told them I needed.

So, I sped through as much as I could.

The reason they canceled us was they decided to honor the Veterans in our area, one in particular, who is about to celebrate his 90th birthday.

I just can't even tell what it meant to sit in that room and hear their stories. All still proud of what they did, all still honored to have done it, all still in love with this country.

I clung to every word, until...

There was one man who took the floor, a man of small stature, who told of his service in Hiroshima very, very briefly.

Then he said something that has forever changed me.

He said there are TWO things that you never forget.

The first thing is Deep Hunger.

He said, "I'm not talking about the hunger you get from missing a meal, I'm talking about deep hunger."

I know this to be true.

Have you ever seen the face of someone praying for the Holy Ghost? I mean really praying?

I remember what that hunger felt like, that consuming hunger where I knew I would do anything to get it satisfied. It is the memory of that hunger that drives me today, keeps me pressing on.

I remember the extreme emptiness, the endless void waiting to be filled. I remember the gnawing inside, begging for something.

And I thought about these men, so young, so far away from home, in a country where they couldn't even speak the language, obviously out of supplies, and seemingly out of hope.

So, they ate what they could find to appease that deep, deep hunger within.

Another man replied later, "When you truly get hungry, you would be surprised by what you can eat."

I have seen people, hungry people, eating up whatever the world would feed them, denying where the real nourishment is found, they feed their souls the garbage lying around them, until they cannot feel that hunger any longer, until the growling of need is appeased.

We have got to reach the hungry around us. We have got to convince them to "taste and see."

The second thing he said is that you never forget is the smell of a decaying human body.

I began to think how God must feel when our very souls are decaying, and He smells the stench of our unrepented failure that is eating away at the very fiber of our beings.

I thought about how that decaying smell can permeate everything and cling to the walls of your nostrils making it impossible to smell anything else.

There have been times when I worked at the hospital when they would bring a body into the morgue that had been dead for quite some time. You could smell it long before you ever reached the door to the hospital.

I could see, in my minds eye, these young men who had left their friends and loved ones, young men who used to play football at school, and court young ladies. I could see young men who laughed and loved and lived facing such horror as the death that must have been all around them. I could see their innocence dying as they came upon body after decaying body. I could imagine them at night, trying to sleep with the smell of death all around them.

And then I thought of our own young people. I thought of their innocence, and I thought of the stench of the world that would like to permeate their being. I thought about the way it can get inside you so that it never leaves you. And even when they return to safety the memory of the stench never leaves.

This man was young when he arrived on those shores so far away. But over 50 years later, those memories are still strong. He has never forgotten his exposure to death, to real hunger, because they turned his young life around.

Oh, my sweet Lord, I know that sometimes we need to feel that deep hunger, but let it be for the things of You. Draw us Lord to Your table, feed us from Your Word, let that be all that satisfies us. Protect us, protect our young people, from the stench of this world, because this world brings nothing but death to our souls. But You, Lord, have overcome this world. I love You so.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How Much Is It Worth~~To YOU??

Luke 7:37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment.

I started to think about that woman today. She passes through my mind on many occasions, but today I lingered on her story.

Today my mother lies in the hospital. Today my father is alone, still coping with all the health issues that have taken such a toll on him. Today my husband is on the road and will be gone the whole week; he's missing church tonight & I know he needs to be there. Today I have been on my knees, fighting for my children and all the things of the world that have been coming against them. Today I have been struggling in my job, needing connections that I just cannot seem to make.

Luke 7:38 And (she) stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.

Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious, and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

Today I feel such praise within my heart.

My praise is not just words that I utter. No, no. You see, my praise is as a precious ointment.

Like a precious jewel I protect my praise, and I place it within my most costly vessel. You see, it means so much to me that I keep it cradled in the vessel of my heart.

Sometimes it takes breaking that vessel to pour out my praise. And when I keep my heart full of praise for Him, there is no room for bitterness, envy or strife.

I long to reach His feet, to humble myself, once again, and pour out all that is within me to my God.

There is no waste of my praise, for He repairs my vessel and enlarges it to hold even more praise for Him.

My praise is the most valuable thing I can give to the One who gave all to me. No one can take my praise from me, if I lose it, it is at my own hand because I have not be careful and protected my vessel.

I am ready, Lord. I can feel the overwhelming desire to praise You. It's time. When I look around me, I know the cost. Today, I give you my all.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


For those of you who have been helping us vote...


I mean that!!! If you don't know what in the world (there's that Georgia phrase again) I am talking about check out our blog at

For those of you that have gone above and beyond in getting the votes in *and you know who you are* we owe you a special thank look out!!!

We are not done yet!!! If we make it into the final 3 then we will need your votes even MORE!!!

I will keep you posted....

Check us out at

~~on a side note~~

For those of you who know my baby girl left me last weekend to become all grown up and on her's still hard. You can't just turn off a mother's heart. I know kabillions of mothers have gone through this, but not me, and that doesn't help my feelings...

I miss her. I don't see another week changing that or another year or another 10 years. I will always miss my little baby, my little freckle face, my sweetie, my dumplin, my friend....

With A Little Help...

"The friend of my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity."
~~~Ulysses S. Grant

I have found this to be true. I would imagine it to be hard to be in the position of Grant, especially during the Civil War. Not only was the country split, but friendships were split, families were split.

How lonely it must have been to be in the position of a General during that time. War is always a lonely time to me because war ultimately results in separation.

Sitting alone in their tents at night, thinking back over the decisions of the day, both the good and the bad, knowing that the decision either saved or cost the lives of sons, and husbands, and fathers.

They didn't have email or text messaging to send out an urgent need. How their faith must have been tested every hour of every day.

But imagine if they did.

USG: We have an important battle in the morning. I covet your prayers.

Gen. Sherman: I will call my officers together. We will be praying. Pray for us also. We lost many today.

USG: You have my prayers my friend.

There is something to be said for having someone with you, fighting in the trenches, battling the enemy by your side, lifting you up and standing with you in times of trouble.

We have been so blessed.

For so many years we were seemingly alone. Aside from our Pastor and his precious wife, there was no one we could confide in, no one to laugh with, to share with. And I feel like there were battles for me to fight during that time in my life that I needed to fight alone, that I needed to come through based on my faith alone to bring me to the place I am in now.

I have sat alone on the edge of the battlefield, weary and heart sore from the wounds that were inflicted. I have felt the loneliness of responsibility for those in my charge, praying my decisions were for our good and would not cause a fatality of faith in my children. I have stood when the only thing that held me up was the grip of grace in my life.

But, those times are a memory now. For you see, God has placed people in our lives that we can count on, people we can turn to, people we can cry with and laugh with, people that will fight right along side of us, that we will fight for, too.

I have always loved Ecclesiastes 4:9&10: Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him.

It goes on in verse 12 to say: ...If one prevail against him, two shall withstand him, and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

I am thankful today. Thankful that there are those I can turn to. Thankful that I have help.

Me: Please help me pray! We are in desperate need!!

Them: You bet! We have a need too!

Me: I will be praying.

Isn't that what it's all about? Standing in the gap for each other?

I know I can make it!! *with a little help from my friends*

God, I don't even know where to begin thanking You for all the treasures in my life. You have given me riches beyond measure in the guise of true friends. I feel like I am the wealthiest person on earth. How could You love me this much? I will never understand. But I thank You. Every day, every hour, every minute, I want to live my thanks to You! Because YOU are my BEST FRIEND! You have never, never let me down. I love You!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Letting Go While Holding On

To My Dearest Baby Girl,

You are the dream of my heart. And it is with more sadness than I have ever fathomed that I prepare for you to leave. 21 years ago as I pressed my hand to my abdomen to feel you move within this day seemed unimaginable.

And yet time can be friend and foe. For over the years I have had the privilege of watching you become the young woman you are today. I have relished each triumph and sorrowed with each hurt, each failure you have faced.

Now comes the hard part. The part where I watch you load up your things and embark on your own life, a life without me there for all of your moments.

The time has come to let you go.

It is not an easy thing, you know. Loving someone never is.

But if love is the language of our hearts, then TRUST must be the action that drives it.

I have taught you to love this Truth, taught you to love the Word, our God, and the man of God.

I have lived this to the best of my ability in front of you, praying faithfully that I would be an example of everything godly, that I would be the mother I needed to be for you. Because I knew, I knew this time would come.

Now, I'm trusting you will all that I have given you. I am trusting you because that is what I have to do, that is how I am showing you how great my love truly is.

It is never easy to let go. And although I know you are only an hour away, even though I know there are people there you can turn to and who will watch after you, it doesn't help the hole I feel inside.

Although I have to let you go, I'm holding on. I'm holding on to the promise I have for you. I'm holding on to the faith I have that you will continue to walk the walk and talk the talk. I'm holding on to my memories of that bright eyed little girl that wove love into my life with cords that cannot be broken.

I am giving you the greatest gift I have ever given you, my trust. Should problems come I will be here, on my knees, lifting you up before the God that has never left us, never forsaken us.

And when you just don't know what to do, when life steps in and trips you up, listen to your heart, for I will be there, whispering to you. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you will be the rhythm and I will only be as far away as the next beat.

Don't depart from all that you have learned, hold fast, remain faithful, keep your eyes on the prize before you.

Always, always know you are my treasure in an earthen vessel my beautiful, sweetest baby girl.

And because of you and your brother, I am among women, most blessed.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Going For The Gold

Job 23:8-11 Behold I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive him. On the left hand where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand that I cannot see him. but he KNOWETH the way that I take when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Gold was the first metal mentioned in the Bible (Gen. 2:12) and is referenced again and again for its worth. It is also referenced for the process that it undergoes to become a "precious" metal.

Did you know that gold melts at 1945.4 degrees Fahrenheit? *1945.4 DEGREES!! Refined in biblical days through a process of cupellation, the gold would be heated in a cupella of clay with lead and the dross of oxides that would result would be absorbed into the clay. The result would be nearly pure gold left behind.

"It is not until we have passed through the furnace that we are made to know how much dross there is in our composition." -Charles Caleb Colton

I have faced the trials of life. And like Job, I have felt alone. I have sought Him on every hand.

Still, I choose the furnace.

1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But REJOICE, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

During a particularly desperate time recently, I was talking with my Pastor after church. He said, "Sister, life is full of seasons, and there are some seasons when it's all you can do to survive."

It does not take much time for our souls to start to protest when we are faced with the intense heat of a trial. The result can be spiritual *heat exhaustion* if we are not careful.

Just as we should protect our physical body when we are faced with time in intense heat, we also need to protect our spirit. We need the rest we gain in His presence, the refreshing we gain at His feet, the strength we glean from His Word.

The time of trial by fire is the time to return again to the wells we have previously dug, to quench our thirsty souls through the outpouring of His Spirit, as He strengthens us to continue.

It may feel like we are just *surviving* our furnace, but isn't that the key?

If we survive, if we press on, when we come out the other side of the refiners fire, we will be shining like pure gold. But, unlike "gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire," (1 Peter 1:7) our resulting faith will be more precious than the metal that comes out of the refining fire.

Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them. I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, the Lord is my God.

God knows the trials we face. He know the exact temperature it takes to remove the impurities from our lives. All we have to do is hold fast during the fire, and in the end, our spiritual value, our worth as His people, will become more precious than gold.

Lord, thank You for reminding me over and over lately how much You love me, that You know my name, and You know what I face. You also know the way that I take. I want my faith to shine like gold before You, before the lost and broken world. I am nothing without You.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sunshine During the Rain

My whole life I have been told that *If the sun shines while it is raining, that's the devil beating his wife.* So, naturally, when I see this phenomenon I say "Look, the devils beating his wife, again!!"

My wonderful Pastor's wife is away at a music conference this weekend. I received a text from her yesterday morning asking me if I would have a soundtrack ready for Sunday morning in her absence.

I haven't sang from soundtrack in quite some time, and all of mine are very dated, so I went to the gospel bookstore in town to look for something new. I elicited the help of one of the girls to help me find something wonderful since I am hooked on choir music and talk radio now (I know, I know, it's a terrible thing).

She proceeded to pull out several CD's and I plopped down in the chair in front of the CD player to have a listen.

That's when it hit me.

One of the lines talked about the sun shining during the pouring rain, and He spoke to me.

"That's what I did for you."

I didn't hear any more of the song.

I have this truck that I'm quite fond of (in case you didn't know that already...just hang on, I'm going somewhere..I promise).

I had it washed today so my husband and I could go out of town in a clean vehicle.

I was riding and thinking about how much I enjoy driving it when I thought, "You know, you wrote about this truck and you logged it as an inspirational article, but you mentioned nothing about God."

So, now I'm going to tell you "THE REST OF THE STORY."

My husband and I were young when we married. By the time I was 23 I had given birth to my both of my children and we were living on the edge of destruction. I had walked away from God, and in the space of a few months my husband lost his job and the fun began.

I had already started college by this time, and I would have lost my credits if I transferred, so we decided to tough it out.

That is an understatement. Those were some of the hardest years of my life. We both worked more than one job at a time and I even had 3 jobs for a span while still carrying a full load!!

We had no money to spare, a car that wanted to constantly tear up, and we were all alone.

It felt like it rained on us every day of our lives. Our marriage was shaky, my son was constantly sick, and my life was filled with sin.

I graduated from college in 1995 and on Easter Sunday, 1996 the Lord refilled me with the Holy Ghost at a service my brother was preaching. My son had continued to be small and have problems. They were certain he had Celiac Disease. But that Easter Sunday, I stood behind him as my brother laid hands on him and KNEW he was healed.

I told the Lord that day, "If this is what it took for You to get my attention, I am Yours, always."

I have held on every since, through disappointments and heartaches, through trials and tribulations, through it all.

But most importantly, He has held on to me.

As I sat there today He whispered to my heart, "That is what I did for You. When you only saw the rain, I was STILL the sunshine. When you only saw the darkness, I was STILL the Light."

Perhaps I was neglect in giving honor to my King. But this is the reason my praise is real, this is the reason I lift my voice, my heart, my very life to Him. You see, I was lost in a rainstorm. I forgot that the Son still shines, even behind the clouds.

But He didn't forget me. He said "I'll be your shelter in the storm, I'll be the Light for your path. I'll be your everything."

So, I have this truck that I love, but I truly understand where I have been and where He brought me from. I know the cost of my praise for Him. I know the price He paid for me.

And now you know the rest of the story.