Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Love is a Many Splendored Thing

Some of you probably do not remember the old soap opera from the 60's and 70's, but some of you do~ "Love is a Many Splendored Thing".

As an elementary student who spent some summers at her dad's office in Russellville, AR, I would make sure that every day at 11am (I think), I was sitting in front of the old black and white tv to watch this show. I would adjust the rabbit ears and sit in the driver's room to watch it.

I don't remember much about the show except that it journaled the ups and downs of the love lives of a few characters. As an 8 year old, I was fascinated.

Today I am 46 and am celebrating my 26th Wedding Anniversary with the love of my life, Rusty.

I can truly say that today I am more madly in love than ever. I look back over the last 26 years, 27 since we started dating, and am thankful for all the moments we have spent together. We have laughed much, cried some, yelled a little :), but through it all our love has grown stronger and stronger.

Rusty is truly the most amazing person I know. He still takes my breath away and he still makes my heart do somersaults when he kisses me.

We are celebrating a little differently today than how we had planned, but we are together. I have known he has loved me over the last 27 years, but last night I was reminded again, that I have my "knight in shining armor".

He takes his role as my husband seriously. He is my priest, my provider and my protector~ and he is great at all of them!

I believe I am the most fortunate woman on the face of the earth! Little girls always long for the handsome prince to come in an rescue them and make them a princess. That's how Rusty makes me feel every day- as his princess. I am loved, protected, cared for and provided for. He makes me feel like the center of the world.

Every lady deserves that. I am blessed enough to have it!

Rusty Blann, a year ago we renewed our vows on a cold romantic evening by the Potomac River in Maryland. Today I recommit myself to you in a hospital room in Mississippi. :) I love you more than ever and am so glad to be Mrs. Rusty Blann.

I thank God for bringing us together and filling our lives and marriage with so much joy and happiness. With you by my side, I truly say, "Love is a Many Splendored Thing!"

Happy Anniversary to the most wonderful man on the face of the earth! I love you so very much!

PS~ for updates on my little medical adventure we are mainly using facebook, but I am doing ok. We still do not have answers, but I get to go do more tests today to help them find this out. woo hoo!!
And if you read my previous blog, please let me add to my fashion journal. Along with all of my pretty bracelets and necklaces, I know have an original design on my torso~ lots of swirly red cirles. The medical staff meticulously planned this artistry by placing adhesive round disks all over me. They would then attach my little necklaces to them. From time to time they have need to change out my disks, so I have LOTS! I guess maybe the adhesive material is a little too much excitement for my skin and my skin has responded with bright red, itchy designs. I am just all decorated up for my anniversary with my hubby! :)

PSS Andi f that didn't make you smile- this should~
My dear friend Ms. Shirley brought me LOTS of m&ms while I was in West Memphis. Yesterday afternoon I asked my daughter Glenda to get me some. She brings them to me in a cup with a sweet smile on her face. Of course, I began guzzeling them down ~ to a chorus of laughter from my 3 oldest children. My "innocent" oldest had "lovingly" placed my beloved m&ms in a sterile urine cup. I didn't catch this little fact until a few minutes later. So they all had fun laughing at me.

PSSS ~ and this little tidbit to make you feel sorry for me~ :)
Right after I finished that last paragraph, a nurse came in to change my IV. I mentioned to her that I am probably a little dehydrated because they won't let me drink anything - A G A I N. She assures me my veins are good. In the back of my mind I'm praying, "let it be, let it be!"
So she proceeds with her little gloves and huge needle.
All in MY FLESH! :)
Sure enough- the first vein rolled.
The second vein blew.

So now, I'm waiting for the charge nurse to come in and
and Prod
in my FLESH!

She also had me sign a little paper that basically said, "If the doctor messes up, if the staff is stupid, or if the electricity goes out- no matter what I - the one who is the patient- assumes full responsibility for anything that happens." Yes, I'm kidding! But it did make me think that way.

ah, well. Such is the day in the life of a patient. :)

luv u all- thank you for your prayers! Please keep praying!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This Crazy Week!

First of all THANK YOU everyone for your prayers!

God is faithful and I am in His perfect hands.

In case you are reading this and you do not know, I am typing this blog sitting in a hospital bed- waiting for a pacemaker to be put in tomorrow.

I am still in shock I think. I just can't wrap my little brain around this craziness.

I FEEL great! ~ at the moment. I have had lots of moments in the last several days when I haven't felt so great, but such is life, right?

Saturday, I was headed out the door to go to my office to catch up on a few things when my kids found me a few minutes later in the floor.

Long story short (#1) Rusty DRUG me to the ER. :) I wasn't a very willing wife. Ha!
They admitted me and waited until today (Monday) to do some tests.

One of the tests was a thallium treadmill. I thought, "No, big deal! I've been exercising on my new little wii fit game and I will do this fine." And I did! (ha! you thought I was going to say something else.)

Fine for a few seconds that is. Then I bottomed out. Saw white lights and everything!
It scared the people and the doctor in the radiology room. We were laughing later because when I first went in there, they were discussing how tired they were and half asleep after a long festive weekend. I joked with them about some shopping stuff etc, etc.

I reached my target heart rate of 148! Woo hoo! I was rather proud that my little hiney muscles and leg muscles held me up that long (credit goes to my new wii fit, of course!).

Then I felt that weird feeling. The next thing I know that doctor is beating on my chest and yelling at me to breathe and open my eyes. "Stay with us! Stay with us!", he yelled.

I was like~ "Oh, Jesus, I long to see your face, but I want to kiss my husband, kids and grandkids good bye first!"

All I could see was WHITE!

And of course, I have been making jokes (nervous jokes) today about how glad I was that I saw WHITE lights and not darkness!! It WAS reassuring. (Don't snicker, you would be glad too if you thought you were about to breathe your last!)

So, the doc said my heart rate went from 148 to 28 in a matter of seconds. I got a sweet little dose of atropine (sp?) to keep me in this body for now.

We have had several good laughs today out of some of my memories of those few minutes. One of the assistants in there, (I don't know her professional title) was a precious African American lady. When I told them that everything was white, I looked at her and said, "Even you dear!"
She got tickled. We all laughed.

So, I have transferred to the hospital where my husband's cardiologists group is and will more than likely have a pacemaker tomorrow - or today rather.

They don't know yet WHY this is happening, but will not do a heart cath until I have the pacemaker put in. (I typed installed and erased it. I am not a car that needs a new battery! ha)

I told them, if they just would have let me have my diet coke this morning, all would be well.

Then, I have thought about the heart cath. "What if they find some blockage?" Will they tell me to NEVER eat m&ms again?!!!"

Do you see where I am going with the new line of thought and concern!

We are talking some serious stuff here!

But, I will cross that bridge when i come to it~ and will maybe take the ferry across!:)

In the mean time, I have a new jewelry collection!
New bracelets - red, yellow and white!
and a new necklace- black strands!

They took some of my bracelets away today when I changed hospitals but game me perty new ones in their place.

I also have a new wardrobe! Brilliantly designed gowns that are made for comfort and ease! Why, I don't even have to disrobe to let them look at my new necklace!

So, this crazy week isn't so bad. I just have to look on the bright side and find the funnies hidden smack dab in the middle of crazy!

Tomorrow I will be sporting a brand new accessory!
(I sure hope it matches my necklace and bracelets!)

love you all and thank you again for your continued prayers!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Every Good and Perfect Gift

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows." James 1:17 NIV

We had another one of those mornings. You know. The kind where everyone wakes up a little later than they should and where no one laid out their clothes the night before. It was a little crazy with five people running around the house looking for items that had been tossed aside carelessly the night before.

When the announcement was made that the temperature outside was a frigid 27 degrees, the scramble started again for decent coats. Everyone was successful in the hunt except for my son.

I had gone on about my business helping do my ten year old's hair when my 16 year old son walked in and asked if I could help him for a minute.

He needed help finding a coat to wear.

He did not know what I knew.

We looked at some of the hoodies and jackets he received for Christmas last year.
Last year my son was under 6 feet tall.
Twelve months later he is 6'2" and growing.

Last year's jackets looked like cute little mid-drift!

He still did not know what I knew.

He looked at me and asked what he should do. All of the shirts we bought him for school were short sleeve and his hoodies were all filthy.

I went to my closet and found the sack I was looking for.
I pulled out the Christmas present purchased the day after Thanksgiving.

It had been there all the time.
A gift.

He was glad, relieved, and surprised that the jacket was one that he had wanted.

It had been there all the time- a gift just waiting to be received.
I was waiting for Christmas, but he needed it before then.

I gladly gave him his gift because of his need.
I knew his need in advance and was prepared.

Do you see where I am going with this?

How much more does God know what we need?
How much more is He prepared to give us what we need?

Luke 11:13 says, "If you then, thought you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

Can I point out something else?

After my son opened his early Christmas present, a sharp Aeropostale jacket, we discussed his need for a heavy coat. I asked him about the school's athletic jackets.

He said he told the coach he didn't want one.
Because he felt like it was too much money for us to spend. He is going to a private school this year and we have had a few extra expenses to say the least. He has always been like that. He doesn't want to ask for "too" much or "put us out" financially.

While I think he is very responsible and mature for thinking along those lines, he does not know what we know.
My husband and my resources are limited, but not depleted. :) We have anticipated the purchase of a letter man's jacket. This is something that we WANT to do, because we enjoy GIVING gifts to our children. It is SO FUN to hear joy in their voices and see it in their faces when they get a present they really wanted.

God's resources are infinite! How much more does He long to give us GOOD gifts. Not THINGS, but gifts that draw us closer to Him and make us more like Him.

God is so much more than giving us THINGS. He delights in bringing us joy! Do you really think He is with holding something you need just because?

Christmas is my favorite time of year because I L O V E to give my children LOTS of gifts. I can't give them everything they would like, but we enjoy just giving to them and providing for them. Even after they are grown and married, it won't change. Why? Because I love my kids and grandchildren! Giving is a result of loving.

"For God so loved the world that He GAVE."

So, today I encourage you to meditate on the TRUTH of God's Word, "Every good and perfect gift is from above."

Do you have a need? Know and trust in Him - that He is prepared to meet your need. You can even ask Him. (How silly would it have been for me to get mad at my son for asking for help finding a jacket this morning?) So, ask your heavenly Father. Trust Him!

I am thankful I serve such a wonderful God!


Jesus is the reason for EVERY season!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Proud Mother

Outside of Jesus Christ, my husband and my kids are the most important things in the world to me! My husband and I have a saying - that we appreciate our kids more because we HAD to wait so long to get them. We used to dream of the day we would have a family, and now that day is STILL here! WE are so blessed and so very proud of all of them!

So, we had ballgames last night- some we lost, but the last one we WON!

It was one of those "sweet" victories. If you've ever had a child play sports, you know what I'm talking about.~

Mackenzie's game was a heartbreaking lost. They fought so hard and came back and "almost" won. My Mack played an awesome game. I was so proud of her!

Jordan's game was a win! The Senior High boys played the same school that the Junior High girls played. And I wanted to S C R E E E A M from the stands for ALL of the games, "We ARE NOT playing Rugby! This is b-a-s-k-e-t-b-a-l-l." But thankfully I kept some semblance of self-control and did not. So, when the final buzzer announced the end of the game- our team had the most points, and that my friend was a SWEET victory indeed! After all the sucker punches, shoving, pushing, kicking and scratching, our kids won- by not stooping to that level. So, it was a good win. And.... Jordan played an excellent game also! I was proud of him also!

I know. I know. It's a sport. They play tough. They play rough. And the kids can take it, so why shouldn't the adults just put on their big girl undies and deal with it? :D

But two of those players are MY BABIES!!!!

So now, with every head bowed and every eye closed, please pray for me to have a Christ like spirit and attitude during ALL sporting events in which my children participate! :) (I'm NOT kidding!)

Okay, on to my other wonderful children......

My Taylor LOVES school. I can't bold it enough or capitalize it enough for you to understand how much this child enjoys learning and reading. She works hard at her "occupation" as student. She brought home her weekly grades yesterday with a big grin. We celebrated with each "A" paper I signed! She is so smart and studious!

Last but not least, I want to introduce to you, my daughter's newest Missionary Blog!

Please click here - after your done reading my blog to see it.

Brad and Glenda (my daughter) are newly appointed missionaries with the Assemblies of God. They will be living in Madrid, Spain and working with IMM- International Media Ministries. Brad creates video that shares the message of Jesus Christ. IMM is known for their quality film productions that are televised in non-Christian countries- countries where churches and preaching Jesus Christ are illegal.

I am proud of all four of my children!

God is so good to have blessed me with children and grandchildren! My life is full and my heart overflows!

I tell my kids all the time, "I am proud of you. Not because of your looks - which they are beautiful. Not because of your achievement - which they are wonderful. Not because of your athletic skills- which they are great. But because of who you are on the inside, because of who you have allowed Christ to be in your life. He is what makes you wonderful, special, unique and great! It is HIM in you that makes this mom proud!"

I just wanted to brag a little today.........
hope you didn't mind!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The "Wonders" of Christmas

I absolutely LOVE Christmas!
I love giving gifts to my children and granddaughters.
I love the excitement of the kids waking up that morning to see what is under the tree.
I love the music the radio stations start playing November 1st. :)
I love all the decorations the stores put out September 1st. :) :) (Just kidding)
I even LIKE decorating the tree and putting out all of our Christmas adornments.

The season we are supposed to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

God the Son left the majesty of Heaven.
God the Son left the attributes of His infinity.
God the Son came to earth and clothed Himself,
not in omniscience,
not in omnipotence,
not in omnipresence,
not in glory or splendor.
God the Son, humbled Himself, coming to earth clothed in

simple humanity.

Human Flesh with its limitations, desires, needs and all that is humanity.

God the Son, Jesus wrapped in humanity.

Have you ever "wondered" about that night?

Have you "wondered":
What was going through Mary's mind?
What on earth Joseph was thinking?
Did the innkeeper have any idea his little business would go down in history?
If anyone noticed shepherds running into Bethlehem to go to a barn?
What happened to the shepherds?
Were any of them around when Jesus started His public ministry?
What Mary's parents thought?
Did they think Joseph and Mary had gone crazy?
What about Mary's best friend? I'm sure she had someone to confide in. What did she think?

I have said for years, that more than anyone else, Mary knew that Jesus was born of a virgin birth. She knew more than anyone that the child in her womb was truly the Son of God.

Every year at Christmas, I just "wonder"...........

I hope you "wonder" also!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Undivided Heart

Psalm 86:11,12
"Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O LORD my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever."

After I had my devotion this morning, I was thumbing through my Bible looking at some of my underlined verses.

I read Psalm 86: 11 and 12.

Hmmmmm. And what does the Psalmist mean by "give me an undivided heart"?
I don't mean to harp on this, but I think this goes back to yesterday's blog about neglecting our salvation.
Jesus Himself said we cannot serve two masters.
In our country, we Christians live such comfortable lives. We don't have to "believe" God for our next meal. We go to the Supercenter and walk down the aisles of plenty and check out at the registers of gluttony. We peer through the catalog of wishes and purchase with our credit cards of excess and debt.
We sometimes get stuck in the quagmire of complacency.
But I want to be like the Psalmist and pray his prayer~
"Teach me YOUR WAY."
The result? "And I will walk in YOUR TRUTH."
"Give me an undivided heart."
The result? "That I may FEAR YOUR NAME."
An Undivided Heart.
What on earth does that mean?
To me, an undivided heart is having a single purpose in life, having nothing else that takes our eyes off of Jesus.

To me, an undivided heart is loving Him with all of my heart and will all my soul and with all my mind.
When I have an undivided heart, it doesn't matter what others think of me. It doesn't matter what "things" I possess. Pleasures and comforts will be at the bottom of my priorities.
When I have an undivided heart, my passion, my desire will be for my Savior, the lover of my soul.
That makes me think........
You know, I am crazy in love with my husband of almost 26 years.

I remember our first date.
I remember our first kiss!

Bear with me a moment as I reminisce. :)

I was standing at the side door between Bowie and Flower Dorms at Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri.

It was 'late September back in 82'. :) (The song says '62- but it was 82!)

We had just been to the David Meece concert at Evangel University.

He walked me to my dorm and we were laughing and talking. The next thing I know he is looking me in the eye and he leans down and tenderly kisses me.

My heart melted.
He grins and says, "See you tomorrow?
I don't think I could speak.
I just nodded and walked in a daze to my room.

I still love him and still get "ga ga eyed" when he kisses me. :)

So..... back to the blog.

Why did I share that with you?
Because, as much as I am crazy about my wonderful and handsome husband, I am that much more in love with my Savior!
To be in the presence of Jesus and to feel His Glory and be surrounded by His love is breath taking! I yearn to spend time with Him basking in His Presence and sensing the warmth of His marvelous love.
If you have no clue what I am talking about and find an analogy of first love to God incredulous, then you haven't been "in love" with Jesus that way He longs for you to love Him.
How do you get to that point?
By spending time in His Word.
By spending time at His feet.
By seeking His face.
By saying words of adoration to Him.
With a repentant heart, asking Him to reveal Himself to you?
I think we sometmes treat the Holy Creator with a vending machine mentality.

"God, help me!"
"Lord, I need this."
"Jesus, if you will just heal my child...."
"God, you said you woud meet all my needs!"
Then, after we have received our "stuff", we forget to just love Him with all of our heart, with all of our soul and with all of our mind.
Why don't we pray for an undivided heart?
I know I need to ask God for an undivided heart DAILY!
I don't want to neglect my salvation.

I don't want to become calloused to the freshness of His love!
I want to be CRAZY in love with Jesus all the days of my life!

Lord, give me an undivided heart today! ~That I may fear Your Name!



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Neglecting Our Salvation

The question was asked:
"Can I lose my salvation?"

I wanted to be careful of my answer because this was not an adult seeking "life's answers". This was a teen who came from a home with doctrinal differences than mine on the subject.

Do I give my "learned A/G" response or do I cause her to ask herself more questions with answers in scripture?

I asked myself, "But do I really think that differently from what she has been taught?"

I replied:

"I don't know necessarily. I'm thinking about what God's Word says. The New Testament teaches that we are born into the family of God through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. (Romans 7,8) I have children. There is NOTHING they could do to make me stop loving them. NOTHING. Nothing they could do to make ME disown THEM. But, should they reject mine and my husband's rules, there will be consequences. I hate to say it, but for their own good, if they totally rebelled against our parental authority, they would lose the comforts of living in the home, my husband and I gladly provide for them. Their choices would cause certain consequences, not because we look for any chance to punish them, but because we love them more than they can imagine. They could change their name and never speak to us. They could walk away from all the love we give freely and all the blessings of provision we give, but we would never disown them. We would never go to court to say 'No longer are you my child'. Our home is established in love, but love AND discipline. Because of our love we have rules to protect our children. Rules that we enforce ~ out of love. Rules that if rejected do bear consequences such as loss of privileges and blessings. Rules that if continued to be rejected ~ or even 'neglected' would result in not being able to continue living under our roof ~ that is after they became of a certain age. (Important point)

I believe our relationship with God is a lot like that. He loves us more than we can imagine, but just because He is a God of love and mercy does not mean that there are not consequences to our actions. He would never just cast us out, but we, being creatures with free wills may leave His blessings and grace at any time."

I continued:

"I think the question might better be stated, 'Can I neglect my salvation'? 'Lose' denotes an accident or something that wasn't meant to happen. 'Neglect' may indicate something we didn't mean to happen, but because of our carelessness, what once was precious, has now become something we thoughtlessly toss aside.

God's Grace is loving enough and merciful enough to KEEP us. His Holiness is perfect enough to demand a just retribution. Yes, we are covered by the blood of Jesus. Yes, His blood cleanses us from all our sins, BUT, there are many 'IFS' in God's Word attached to our salvation. (Romans 6-8). The Word speaks much of 'living by the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, not living according to the flesh or giving in to the desires of the flesh'. The Word also says that should we decide to live according to the flesh the end result is (spiritual) death. When our spirit dies, we are in need, once again, of being born again. If we live according to the spirit on a daily basis, crucify our flesh, and die to our self, our spirit man will not die, but live and thrive and become spiritually mature.

Does this mean we become perfect? ~ Oh, no. Not by a long shot, but it does mean we can grow and develop the likeness of Christ in who we are."

She looked at me and looked at her Bible. "I have some studying to do."

Inside I was thanking God for His Spirit giving me Words to say.

Deep down, I think we A/G loving folks sometimes forget the "Eternal Security" Christ's blood has afforded us. Yes, He DID provide an "Eternal Security" for us, but He did not provide "unconditional security" for us.

I cannot "fall" from grace, but should I rebel and reject His love and sacrifice, I can "jump" from His loving mercies.

What "fool" would do such a thing - to know the love and grace of Christ and then totally reject all that Christ has to offer? One who has tasted one bite at a time of the temptations of this world~ wealth, pleasures, idleness, selfishness, all the temptations Jesus faced, but refused.

Jesus said Himself in Revelation 3, "I will spit you out of my mouth". He was talking to the church of Laodicea- people in the CHURCH - those who know and have tasted of the salvation of our God.

I am not writing this blog today to start some crazy debate regarding doctrinal differences. I am writing more to all of us to NOT NEGLECT this wonderful and marvelous salvation that has been given to us, paid for by the precious blood of Jesus.

I want to be passionate about my relationship with Christ.
I want to be intentional in my relationship with Christ.
I want to be radical in my relationship with Christ!

I just want to become more and more like my Savior, my Redeemer, the Lover of my Soul. Because when it is all said and done, it is not about THIS life that matters. It is about spending eternity with the Glorious and Majestic King of Kings and Lord of Lords- The Great I AM!

I just want to hear HIM say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Wow! Come quickly Lord Jesus!


Friday, October 30, 2009

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

It has been way too long since I was able to blog and I haven't been able to share with you all so many things that have been on my heart, but..... Another day, Another time.

Okay, our topic today:
Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Wow! Why do I do this to myself? :)

First of all, my theme verse for this post is Psalm 118:24- "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

October 31st is God's day. He created it. He asked us to rejoice and be glad in it. So, therefore, I don't think we should hide out in our homes and "ignore" the day the Lord made.

Secondly, Halloween, or Hallow's Eve is NOT a Christian holiday. It does have it's roots in pagan worship. So many of the "cute" and "fun" customs that our kids celebrate, have very sinister and evil beginnings. I feel that anyone who even asks the question, "Should Christians Celebrate Halloween" would do well to spend some time in research of the basics of where these "traditions" came from. I would also suggest to not do your research entirely on the internet. I have found the best Christian researchers publish their findings in books. Hopefully tomorrow I can give you some references and resources of where to find these books.

Thirdly, ask yourself a few questions:
If I celebrate in so many of the Halloween traditions, who am I glorifying?
Is it glorifying Christ?
Do the decorations in my yard and home lift up the concept of abundant life and hope through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
Or~ am I glorifying fear and a death without hope?

Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life and life more abundantly." John 10:10
The Word also says, "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:7

Oh, my, there is so much I would like to say on this subject, but I do believe that people's most solid decisions are made under the direction of the Holy Spirit and when one's eyes are opened to the TRUTH of God's Word.

I can't make a judgement call on anyone but myself.

Let me close by sharing with you our story. It shows why I feel the way I do about celebrating Halloween. And, of course, the easiest way for me to share that is in story form. Please forgive me if my post is long today! :)


The summer heat was slowly giving way to the crisp winds of Autumn. In Southern Arkansas, football game nights were a mystery~ light jacket? heavy jacket? blanket? or rain coat? Seasoned fans knew to keep an assortment of "game gear" in the trunk.

She sat in the stands with her blanket around her feeling peace in her heart. She was watching her new daughter cheer for the Hornets and listening to her husband do the play by play in the press box. Life didn't get much better than this! Happiness and family~ and all serving Jesus!

As the lights were turned out and the crowds scattered, the new little family made their way back to their vehicle. The conversation turned from the highlights of the game to those cheering moments, to what were the plans for the Friday night. After a few minutes of discussion it was decided that Glenda would go in to town with a few church friends and Rusty and Dorinda would head home.

It was early October and there was still some planning to do for the youth group for the coming month. Youth Convention was only a month away and not much had been raised for Speed the Light.

Sandwiches made and sodas in hand, Rusty and Dorinda sat on the couch to do some planning.

The biggest fundraiser they had ever had was in their first youth pastorate. In 3 nights they raised almost $3,000 for Speed the Light. The Haunted House was a sure money maker! Dorinda had greeted guests at the door in her regal witch costume, and Rusty had a blast scaring people as Frankenstein.

They could do another Pie in the Face Auction. They did well in another town, but hadn't seemed to do well here.

They planned some activities and a Hayride for October 31st, but just couldn't decide on the fund raiser. The Haunted House seemed the best option, but they just weren't sure where or how to get it up and running in the small church.

By 11:00pm Glenda was home. The little family of three sat for a while and talked in the living room. As Dorinda went to bed she stopped by Glenda's room and peeked in.

It had been over a year since Glenda moved in with them. It had been nine months since she started calling them mom and dad. But Dorinda still got that warm fuzzy feeling in her heart when she looked in the bedroom and saw her teen daughter sleeping~ all safe and sound.

At 2 am the shrillness of the phone woke the parents up. Dorinda answered with an adrenaline rush, knowing that only emergencies would warrant a phone call at this time. In the space of two seconds it was amazing how many thoughts could rush through one's mind. "Did someone die? or have an accident? Are our family members ok?"

She was surprised to hear a young voice on the other end asking if we had a daughter now?

"What! Who is this?"

"It's Bacon! Don't you have a daughter now?"

At that point Rusty was now fully awake and grabbed the phone. He held it out so that Dorinda could hear the conversation.

It seemed "Bacon" one of their former youth in another city was at a party~ one that he definitely shouldn't have attended.

When Rusty got on the phone, Bacon, as he was affectionately called, started crying. It took a while for Rusty to coax the reason for his call out of him. The long and short of it was this:

He had gone to the party for free drugs. He had heard that it was going to be a big party with all kinds of stuff going on. He knew he shouldn't and he was so sorry but he did and now he was scared.

He was scared because they did things at that party that was beyond just a normal drug party. They drank. They did drugs. They shared drugs. They listened to weird music. They had orgies. They chanted. They burned strange candles. They talked about Satan. They got angry.

They talked about a sacrifice.

Rusty and Dorinda listened carefully, asking a few questions for clarity, as Bacon stammered and spilled the information he had just gathered.

"What do you mean a sacrifice?"

"I'm scared! I don't know what to do! I don't want them to know I called you!"

"Tell us more about the sacrifice. What are they planning to do?"

"They are mad Bro. Rusty. They said that an Assembly of God pastor took in a new daughter and they were going to find her and sacrifice her on their holy day."

"When is their holy day, Bacon?"

"October 31st! It's when they are going to sacrifice an A/G preacher's daughter to Satan!"

"How do you know it is us, Bacon?"

"I don't. I just know you live in the town they mentioned and that you have a new daughter. I'm scared, Bro. Rusty. Now I don't think God will forgive me because I went to this party, but I don't want anything to happen to you or your new daughter!"

It took about an hour to calm him down and pray with him and assure him that God's grace was bigger than his sin.

It took a lot longer to for the couple to go to sleep with out fear gripping their hearts for the child they loved so dearly.

Tomorrow they would call the sheriff and get to the bottom of the story.

Tomorrow, or rather, sunrise today took a long time in coming. Crazy dreams of someone chasing their Glenda, then remembrances that she was covered by the precious blood of Jesus.
Fear chased by Peace. Death defeated by Life. It was a vicious circle of warfare of the mind and soul all night long.

The sun finally rose and Dorinda tried to wait patiently for a decent hour to call the Spirit filled Sheriff they had come to love and appreciate. She felt like they were a scene out of one of Frank Peretti's novels.

At last, 9 am arrived. She dialed the number and asked to speak to the sheriff.

As calmly and as sanely as she, could without sounding like a lunatic, Dorinda described the phone call. "Ok. Now, what do you think about this? Was this kid hallucinating or is there possibly something to this?"

The sheriff was calm and factual, but to Dorinda's surprise testified to the accuracy of Bacon's story. His office had received numerous tips and calls regarding a big meeting of those who worshiped Satan coming to the area. Every hotel was booked for that weekend and even government agencies had been in contact with local law enforcement to let them know there was definitely some "occult activities" expected.

That was all the young pastor and his wife needed to hear. They would not be afraid and they would not allow anything to happen to their precious daughter. They would go to the only one Who could protect her, their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

They didn't want to sensationalize the information they had, but they weren't going to sit back and let the enemy win either.

Their number one objective? Prayer and Praise to God in Heaven.


It was in those days of prayer, that their eyes were opened. October 31st was the Lord's day, not the enemy's. Witch's, ghosts, and goblins, were things the enemy used as weapons to destroy God's peace and life in the hearts and minds of God's created beings. Fear and deception were the goal of the enemy. He, the enemy, was the one who came to steal, to kill and to destroy. Christ came to give life and that more abundantly.

The power of the cross, the power of the blood of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit became real to Rusty and Dorinda and their daughter as they banded together to pray against harm and fear for their little family.

The three of them and a close family friend went out to the area where all the "satanic activity" was supposed to take place. They got out of the little car and stood there, quoting God's Word and proclaiming His victory in this and all situations. They pleaded the blood of Jesus over the entire area claiming that "ever place the sole of their foot shall tread, that is the land God has given you."

With that, their hearts were at peace. They knew God was the One in control, not some created evil being that had no control over the servants of the Most High God.

And they slept~ each and every night~ a sleep of peace and safety.

They promised each other never again to celebrate October 31st in a way that would bring glory to the "thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy", but to celebrate that day as any other day - A day to bring glory to God who created that day and every other day!

October 31st came and went. A call from the sheriff's office on November 1st brought news of many empty hotel rooms. For some reason or another the plans of the area's "coven" were foiled and their "worship" had to be moved to another location. He also found out that the daughter in question was from a family of a friend of thiers. They had witnessed to a young lady high up in the local coven and had given her shelter in their home as she re-established her life in Christ. This had angered the "high priest" and he had issued a proclamation to sacrifice her on October 31st. (This does not hold to normal satanic rituals where a virgin is considered a greater sacrifice.)

The power of the Cross and the power of the Most High God are much more powerful than any fear or deception that the enemy could drum up!


And that my friend is my story and why I feel the way I do about celebrating the pagan holiday.

How do I celebrate October 31st?

By sharing the love of Jesus through Kid's Fest at our church.
By sharing the gospel message through a week long crusade ending with Trunk or Treat on Saturday and family services on Sunday.

We do our best to glorify the life, message and hope of Jesus Christ, and to present the freedom and love He has to offer.

Do I condemn those who have fun with Halloween?
No Way!
Do I think it is a "sin" to dress up like witches and ghosts and glorify death in yard decorations?
No- but I do think that once someone knows the truth and understands the deception of the enemy, that it would be hard to look those things in the same way.

Okay, this post is way too long, but I hope I have shared my heart!
This is the Day the Lord has made; let US rejoice and be glad in it!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Part 2: Abigail- Her Story

This is part 2 of Abigail- Her Story. For part 1, please click here.


The thoughts and questions flooding her mind dared to unnerve her. She knew she could very well lose her life! If she dwelt on the possibilities too long, she just might cower to her fears, but she couldn't. Too many lives were at stake!

With a courage that few men have found even in the heat of battle, Abigail mounted her donkey and headed for the mountain. All of the goods were ready and loaded. She sent a few servants with the gifts ahead.

She would follow the little caravan.

As the early morning sun began to peak over the horizon, Abigail saw the opening in the hillside. She knew that once she rode through the pass there was no turning back. Her heart fluttered a little from fear. She didn't want to think about what her stomach was doing.

Her donkey plodded slowly among the ravine's path. A few loose pebbles trickled down the dried up creek bed.

That was when she heard the neighing of horses.

Now her heart was caught in her throat!

Would she live to see another sunrise?

In a matter of seconds she was face to face with the warriors.
In the lead was none other than the giant slayer himself, David.
~ The shepherd boy turned warrior.

With all of the dignity and strength she could muster she dismounted her donkey with the speed of one whose life depended upon it.

She fell at his feet and began the speech she had rehearsed for the last several hours.

She dared not look him in the face. After her long oratory that began with her pleading for mercy and ended with David's praises and triumphs, she lie with her face breathing in the moisture from the soil. Her heart beat so fast she thought David's entire army could hear it.

She trembled from the top of her head to her finger tips. When she realized how bad she was trembling, she clinched her fists to hide their quivering.

While she spoke, David's troops were silent. Now she still heard nothing other than what appeared to be the warrior dismounting from his steed.

He was standing next to her head.

His words were like music to her ears! "Blessed be the God of Israel! He has sent you to me! And blessed be your good sense!"

She heard little else than the mercy in his voice.
In all of her bravery she could not keep the single tear from sliding down her cheek.

Slowly she raised her head and ventured to take in the surroundings.

His men were accepting the gifts she sent!

"Return home in peace. I've heard what you said and will do what you've asked."

With that the company of warriors turned and rode back to the other side of the mountain.

Abigail stood there staring after them.
The God of Israel had just spared her life and the lives of her entire company.

The servants were waiting on her for instruction.

Brushing off her garments, she returned to her donkey. Head held high and back straight, she returned home. The servants, one by one followed her.

Once again, their mistress had saved their lives. She risked her life so they might live.

The ride home was quiet but much more peaceful to her body than the last 24 hours had been. She almost moaned out loud when she realized there was still the sheering festival to tend to.

She heard the festivities before she could even see the camp.


He loved his wine and any excuse for a good party.

As they rode into the camp, servants in tent after tent poked their heads out to see the straggling travelers ride in. Abigail greeted them with a warm smile to assure them of the success of her little trip. Wives and mothers said a thousand words with looks of admiration and devotion. They would sleep tonight with husbands and sons at home, because of her bravery and wisdom. A few of the children, upon seeing Abigail ran out to greet her.

By the time she reached her tent, a small group had gathered. News of the impending doom had spread like wildfire upon her departure. Now, they just wanted to know what happened.

As much as Abigail wanted to greet each servant and reassure them that all was well, she was just too tired. She summoned Deborah, Pallu and sent for Hanini. She informed the three of them of the events and asked them to relay the details to the servants.

Before she could rest, she had to see what Nabal was up to and if all was well.

Her weary bones drug her to his tent. If it hadn't been for the loudness of the music and drunken shepherds and visiting clansmen, they would have heard her stomach rumble. How long since she had eaten a real meal? Was it just yesterday that she and Deborah had a quiet lunch in Maon?

As she entered the tent, she heard, rather than saw Nabal.
She knew he was already drunk. His rude and surly comments to the slave girl serving his drinks stung Abigail's heart. With a sigh she back out of the tent and let him alone. He wouldn't remember a word she said anyway.

These things could wait until morning.

Now, to tend to her hunger and exhaustion.

In her tent, her dear Deborah had bath water drawn and a scrumptious meal waiting. Her five maids were waiting on her. They each greeted her with a warm hug and expressions of deep gratitude. These were the ladies who knew her best. They knew she wore the weight of the welfare of each of them along with every other servant and hireling of Nabals.

The five of them saw to her every need before she fell asleep. With hushed whispers they brushed her hair, prepared her bed and retrieved her food. They would see to it that their mistress was not disturbed in any way tonight. She, with the help of Yahweh, was a brave and courageous warrior. Her strength, honor and bravery had saved them all.

Abigail slept a quiet and deep sleep while Nabal drank himself into a senseless stupor.

Tomorrow would bring it's own life changing events and another sunrise would see another drama unfold. But for tonight, the camp in Carmel would be divided into the sleeping and the drunken, the wise and the foolish.

Abigail dreamed dreams of peace and happiness.

Nabal slobbered spittal on his beard. When he finally passed out, he felt a tightening in his chest. His last conscious thought was of cursing the cook for the spicey foods and his indigestion.

The sun had dropped against the horizon hours ago and was almost ready to reappear for another day.

The Carmel camp was finally asleep.


Abigail- a woman of wisdom, bravery and courage. There is still more to her story. I'm not sure if I will write a part 3. What do you think?
I hope you felt her emotions and realized her bravery!


Friday, October 2, 2009

Abigail - Her Story

Although their make shift camp was buzzing with activity, Abigail felt a sense of peace and calm as she walked through checking on all the preparations for the sheering festival.

All was going according to schedule and she even had extra food prepared should a traveling caravan wander by. She was greeted by servants during her stroll.

She loved to smile at them as they worked. It was her way of balancing out her husband's harsh treatment. She found that her daily walks through their dwelling, whether here or in Maon, seemed to calm the servants and give them a trusting attitude. She hoped they all knew that she appreciated and valued each and every one of them. Her husband, Nabal, on the other hand, seemed to care for only himself and his money.

Convinced that she could make the quick trip to their home in Maon, she loaded up a few things and took two of her beloved servants, Deborah and her brother, Pallu. Maon was her favorite. The tents of Carmel were nice, but not like her home in Maon. In Maon she felt the cool mountain breezes even in the heat of the summer days. In Maon she had buried her mother and her father. Maon was home.

The festival would begin at sundown day after tomorrow. She would be back by daybreak. Maon, even if for just one night, would provide her the rest and peace she needed before the next ten days of the sheering festival. Nabal was in the fields with the sheepherders sheering the flocks and would not need her until the feast began.

The moment she came through the clearing she felt that warmth in her soul. Home! She was grateful to Yahweh for this place. The purpose of her mini-vacation was really to check on the servants here. She had not seen them in four weeks. She knew no news meant all was well, but she just wanted to make sure for herself before the festival started.

After checking on the few families left, she took a small lunch to her favorite tree. Deborah went with her. These were some of her favorite times. Deborah may have been her servant, but she was also her dearest friend. Together they dreamed and planned. They laughed and cried. Sisters could not have been closer.

Before their lunch was complete, Abigail looked up to see a cloud of dust coming from the same direction they had traveled earlier. Whoever it was, was in a hurry!

A sense of dread clung to Abigail's heart. Deborah, without a word, began gathering their lunch. She knew her master and she knew something had happened in Carmel.

By the time the dust cleared, Abigail could make out Hanini talking to Pallu. The two women hurried down the hill to find the reason for Hanini's quick pursuit of his mistress.

Hanini, was the assistant to the chief sheepherder. Shephullah would not have sent Hanini if it were not an emergency. Abigail feared the worst.

"Mistress Abigail!"

"Hanini! What brings you all the way from the sheering?"

"Mistress, David sent messengers from the desert to greet our master. Rather than thanking David's servants for their protection and good will, our Master, Nabal, your husband, insulted them and ridiculed David. Mistress Abigail, David and his men did no harm to us. In fact they were a wall of protection around us. Shephullah has sent me to you to consider what to do. You know that harm will come of this. He has insulted men who have been kind to him. Harm will come to him and all of his house. He is such a worthless man and no one can tell him anything!"

Abigail could not believe what she just heard! Was Nabal out of his mind? Did he not know what David and his men were capable of? They were not just some travelling caravan. These men were warriors. Everyone knew that someday David would be king, and her husband just insulted him!

She knew she shouldn't be surprised. How many times had her husband, handsome and wealthy as he was, made a cruel and selfish judgement only to laugh at the consequences to others later.

Her mind went into high gear. She sent Hanini rushing back with instructions and a fresh steed.
Her mini-vacation just ended and her little party made hasty preparations to return to Carmel.

By the time she returned to the camp in Carmel, the stars were twinkling in the dark sky. Their dancing belied the fact that everything she loved could be destroyed after daybreak.

She almost ran from tent to tent checking on the instructions she sent with Hanini. Loaves of bread baking. The choice wine selected. Sheep slaughtered and roasting. The grain bagged and the raisins and fig cakes prepared.

One last stop before a few hours of sleep. She went into the barn to make sure that the servant boy loaded all of the gifts on the donkeys by the fourth watch. She would need to leave before first light.

Her bones ached and her back side was sore. The quick trip back was not an easy one. To think she had hoped to rest for the day!

Sleep evaded her and when she did finally drift off she dreamed of warriors slicing the throats of all their men. She was thankful when Deborah wakened her to make preparation to leave.

Would David and his men accept her apologies for her husband's rude and cruel behavior? Had the stories of the man who slayed Goliath yet played the harp for King Saul been true? Would David show his mercy or his blood thirst?

Only Yahweh could know. She breathed an urgent prayer for His intervention.


Ok. That's all for today folks! Check back Monday for the rest of the story!


Thursday, October 1, 2009


I was preparing this week for our newest Ladies ministry, Tuesday Treasure. I stumbled across a sort of familiar Bible story. I saw it in a new light!

So, what I'm thinking is a story is coming~
a story about Abigail.

Here is what I want you to do.

Read the account of Abigail today.

She is found in 1 Samuel 25.

See her story in your mind. Feel what she is feeling. Look at her actions, her responses and her remarks.

Then tomorrow we will look at Abigail again together!

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the Bible and the things God tells us about Himself and His creation?

love you ladies!


(Praying for the Severn Family)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Findings from the CDC regarding the Swine Flu

I wanted to share this link with you about Swine Flu, Flu Shots and Pneumonia.

Please click here to read these very interesting facts related to those who have died with the H1N1 Flu.

I will try to paste the article, but it will more than likely be difficult to read with the paragraph breaks etc.

The article from Yahoo Health Home News is as follows:
Bacteria co-infections common in swine flu deaths: CDC

By AFP - Wed Sep 30, 4:39 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Many people who have died from swine flu in the United States were also infected with other bacteria, including one which can cause pneumonia or meningitis, US health officials said Wednesday.

A syringe of the H1N1 vaccine. Many people who have died from swine flu in the United States were also infected with other bacteria, including one which can cause pneumonia or meningitis, US health officials said Wednesday.(AFP/Getty Images/File/David Greedy)

Scientists who analyzed the cases of 77 patients who had the new strain of H1N1 flu and died found evidence of bacterial co-infection in around a third of the cases.
Of the 22 patients found to have a bacterial co-infection, nearly half had Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common bacteria which can cause pneumonia and "likely contributed to their death," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its weekly Morbidity and Mortality report.

Seven of the patients had Staphylococcus aureus, and one had haemophilus influenzae, which can also cause pneumonia. The rest showed a variety of co-infections.

The patients ranged in age from two months to 56 years, with a median age of 31 years.
CDC epidemiologist Matthew Moore recommended that, in the light of the findings, "those at high risk for the serious complications from influenza check with their provider when they get their influenza vaccine about being vaccinated against pneumococcus."

The CDC recommends in any case that children under the age of five, "all persons between the age of two and 64 with high-risk conditions" and senior citizens older than 65 be vaccinated against Streptococcus pneumonia, but says only a small proportion of patients actually get the shots.

No data were available on the vaccination status of the 22 patients who had H1N1 flu and a bacterial co-infection, the CDC said, but one patient was younger than five-years-old and 15 others "had underlying medical conditions" that were indications for pneumococcal vaccine.

I posted this not to cause alarm or fear, but to inform. I believe God gave Doctors and medical researchers wisdom to help our bodies heal.
So, as soon as I get the "all clear" from my doctor, I will be getting my flu shot, my swine flu vaccine, and the pneumococcus shot! (Do you know how many times I had to scroll back up to spell that word???!!!)
Who's going with me?!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trust His Heart

I am thinking of the song that goes something like this,
"When you can't trace His hand, trust His heart...."

How fitting to dwell on that today.

Last night a minister friend of ours entered the gates of heaven.
We expected him to be around here a little while longer planting a church in NWA and creating websites.

God had other plans.

I have to be honest. I did not know Jim that well, nor his lovely wife. I just know from my son-in-law that they are fine people and extremely talented.

My first reaction was, "God, what are You thinking!? Don't You realize what an opportunity You are missing by not doing the miraculous healing thing?!"

Immediately I thought of several verses in the Bible that talk about trusting Him.


I think I have issues with that word sometimes.

Like today.

I cannot imagine the pain and the sense of loss this family must be feeling.

But God IS in control.
He DOES have a plan.
He KNOWS what is best for everyone.
All things DO work together for the GOOD of those who love Him.

Sometimes we can't see the angle He is going for.
Sometimes we just don't get what His purpose is.
Sometimes we can't trace His hand.
That is exactly when we need to learn to trust His heart.

Please pray for this dear family.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Isaiah Saw the LORD

I have often wondered exactly how Isaiah felt when he "saw the Lord" in the year King Uzziah died. Please read this short chapter to better get an idea of where I am going with this:

Isaiah 6 NIV
Isaiah's Commission
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.
2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
3 And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
9 He said, "Go and tell this people: " 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'
10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."
11 Then I said, "For how long, O Lord?" And he answered: "Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged,
12 until the LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken.
13 And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land."
There is a part of me that wants to do the Matthew Henry Study on this verse, but the other part wants to just speculate on the wonder of what went through Isaiah's mind and spirit.
So bear with me for just a moment as I imagine:
Isaiah is praying and seeking the face of Yahweh. His heart is being stirred to do something more, to say something more, to be something more.
As he follows after his God with his whole heart, he suddenly is keenly aware that God is with him.
His heart beats a little faster. There is a holiness in the place.
Where is this place?
In the very throne room of heaven!
For some reason he feels nothing with his physical senses, but his spirit man is on high alert.
He opens the eyes of his heart.
And there~
right before him~
is his Creator!
His only response is repentance.
Suddenly every good and righteous thing he has ever attempted is nothing but filth.
For here, he stands in the very presence of God Almighty,
Yahweh Himself!
His Holiness is encompassing.
Were it not for the ever present Mercy and Compassion of The Most Holy God,
the spirit of Isaiah would have crumbled under the realization of his sinfulness.
God Himself, on His Throne, high and lifted up.
The Glory of His presence was more than the human body can stand, but Isaiah was allowed a small insight to His Majesty.
Isaiah is afraid, yet at peace.
Repentant, yet joyful.
The moment was not one of just sights, for being in the presence of the Almighty was something the whole man~body, soul, and spirit~ absorbed, not just experienced.
He almost missed the seraphim. He couldn't take his eyes off of the LORD.
But he heard the seraphim.
"Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
Their voice was as one voice.
Their voices were a chorus of infinity.
They circled the throne.
Each time they circled the very throne of the LORD, they, the seraphim, received another glimpse of His Eternal Holiness.
They had been singing from the moment of their existence.
They would sing of His Holiness forever.
When they spoke, the temple was filled with smoke.
All Isaiah could do was realize his feeble existence and his utter uncleanness, his wretchedness.
"Woe is me!", he cried, "For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the KING, the LORD ALMIGHTY."
His lips tried to form the words, "Forgive me!", but his heart almost failed from fear. His body quivered in terror.
The realization of the Holiness of God and the sinfulness of man was greater than he ever imagined.
In the moment he knew the wrath of God must have justice and he would die, a seraph flew to him and extended the redemption of his HOLY GOD.
The seraph took a live coal from the altar and touched his lips. The heat, the scorching, and the burning were a relief to his sin sick soul.
What happened next, Isaiah never expected.
Yahweh spoke.
"Whom shall I send" And who will go for Us?"
Isaiah's immediate response after experiencing the atonement was, "Here am I. Send me!"
God Almighty answered, "Go!".
I can't begin to imagine experiencing an encounter such as that!
I would hope that we embrace His Presence in our everyday prayer lives, and that we encounter His Holiness and are repulsed by our own sin.
It is then that we hear His voice saying, "Go!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Master's Plan

The Master's Plan is to make us "fisher of men".

I am reading a book right now called The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman.

Talk about convicting!!!

Mr. Coleman points out that everything Jesus did while on earth was for a purpose, including the three years He spent with the 12 disciples. He had purposeful and life changing daily encounters with these men. All of it was to make them "fisher of men".

I have heard that term all of my life.

I know what it means.

I read the book.

Did the college course.

Heard the sermons.

So, why, today- at the mere age of 40+ is my heart so captured by this discipleship concept- this lifestyle?

I think, just maybe, somewhere in "all of my earthly gathering of knowledge" I have missed the big picture of being a "fisher of men".

I am re=thinking my idea of church.


No, not in doctrine or The Message, but in why do we do what we do?
No, I don't think my "idea" of church has been so tragically wrong all of these years.

But, maybe, just maybe I have gotten so wrapped up in our culture, that I lose sight of The Master's Plan.

Maybe, just maybe, I get so wrapped up in "doing" church that I forget about the "fishing" part.

Pushing off the boat.
Casting the nets.
Drawing in the catch.

Let me share with you some quotes from Mr. Coleman's book:

Men were His Method-
"His concern was not with programs to reach the multitudes, but with men whom the multitudes would follow."
"The initial objective of Jesus' plan was to enlist men who could bear witness to His life and carry on His work after He returned to the Father."
~ p. 27

"In an age when facilities for rapid communication of the gospel are available to the church as never before, there are actually more unevangelized people on the earth today than before the invention of the 'horseless carriage'. " ~ p. 38

So, I close my blog today with this thought~ I want to follow WHOLEHEARTEDLY the Master's Plan of Evangelism. I want to be a fisher of men. I want to be a disciple who disciples.


The Master Plan of Evangelism
by Robert E. Coleman
c 1963, Published by Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Book House Company.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Morning Like This!

As I drove into to work this morning, maternal bliss was reaching the point of fleshly pride. A smile was plastered on my face and my hormones were at peace!

Ahhhhh...... If only every morning could be like this!

Everyone had a sock to match the other one.
Everyone knew where their books and backpacks were.
Everyone had time to actually eat the breakfast my wonderful, handsome and loving husband cooked (like he does EVERY morning!). (And it is ONE husband, as in Rusty Blann- not husbandS like I had at first before our wonderful Administrative Assistant caught my typo! Thanks Beth!)
Everyone loved each other!


The "ahhhhh...." is so much better because of the "ARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!" of yesterday!

Yesterday was not peaceful, loving, or joyful~ AT ALL!

Everyone was cranky.
All the backpacks and homework and books were MIA.
Oh, but attitudes were on hand ~ galore!
And I think Satan himself picked on my hormones!
Love was not the feeling we were getting yesterday.

It was an "ARRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!" morning.

But you know what? Even in the roughness of yesterday, God was right there with us. His Spirit was encouraging us to respond in the manner that pleases Him. He was drawing, convicting and speaking.

He was there today also! But it was easier to hear Him and yield to Him because we were a little more prepared to handle our morning.

We laid out clothes the night before.
We put homework and books in backpacks.
We put the backpacks by the door.
We knew where the matching socks were.
The clincher~ we woke up a little earlier.

It is amazing what a little discipline will do to help us develop fruit of the Spirit in even the smallest things.

So, I want all mornings to be like this. I want them peaceful, joyful and love filled! Oh, I know, there will still be those mornings where chaos has run of the place, but I want those few and far between.

May God receive glory in all that I say, do and think.

Psalm 19:14
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." NIV

I like the way The Message puts it:
"These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on and pray. Accept them when I place them on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock, God, Priest-of-my-Altar."

I love you guys! I'm glad to be back! Not sure how regular I will be. I am working full-time now and haven't gotten the hang of this new schedule, but I'm getting there!!!

Stay in the Word!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Love

The silence was deafening.

A single tear slid down her cheek as she choked back the sobs in her heart.

It wasn't supposed to be like this!

Memories of the love and passion raced through her mind and her cold heart.

The memories were replaced with icy questions of "Why?" and "How?".

All she wanted was for everything to be the way it used to be, or even better. She craved the joy, the love, the desire. She wanted to have that glowing happiness again. But why wouldn't He just do this one thing?!!

She had grown accustomed to people frequently commenting on her bubbly personality.

Now she felt like an old soda gone flat and dull. You know, the kind you spew out of your mouth because it is so nasty.

Before she could catch herself, streams of tears had followed the lone tear that led the rest.

It was no use!
Who was she kidding? Couldn't everyone see what she really knew?

She glanced at the clock that screamed for her to obey it's demands.
She had a choice. Do the same thing she had been doing and continue dieing this slow and agonizing death, or forget the routine and go for the passion she craved from the inside out.

With a quickening of her heart beat she knew what she had to do.

She almost ran to the bedroom and fell on her face. By now the sobs were uncontrollable.

She cried out to her Savior. She asked forgiveness for her cold heart.
She repented of every pretentious and pious deed that had steered her so far from the joyful life the Lover of her soul had planned for her.

She still didn't have all the answers.

Time seemed to stand still as she fell into His arms, His embrace, His Presence.

There was still a silence on the "demands" she had made, but now it didn't matter.

She surrendered her will and buried it inside of His.

Her heart that had been cold and bitter was now melting in His peace and embrace.
She allowed Him into that one place she had barred shut. He now had open access to do as He pleased.

The relief of not being in control flooded her soul almost as much as the warmth of His Presence.

The clock was still screaming missed appointments and failed deadlines. When He was finished, she picked herself up and headed for His appointments.

Joy consumed her. Peace filled her. Love emanated from her and happiness described her!

She had returned to her first love.

Revelation 2:4-5
"But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent."


Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm Still Here.... Kind of!

Ok. Summer is over. School has started. Routines are overtaking me,

But .........

my blog is still A.W.O.L.!!!

I apologize for those few of you who do still stroll here occasionally, BUT I am going to get back to blogging SOON!!! If I don't I will just absolutely bust.

My brain now is on overload. My ram is full, my hard drive is maxed out and there is no more temporary file storage. :0)

However, I would like to steer you to my favorite MOM blog today.

Please click HERE to go to Vicki Courtney's blog. Today she is posting on some trends of the 80's. Oh, how I SO relate! I encourage you no matter what generation you are to read her blog today and just enjoy.

I really hope to see you guys soon with a blog entry of my own, from my heart!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Announcing Chic ~ Chat!

Hey Ladies! I have been putting this information on my facebook and haven't had a chance yet to post it here..... mainly because I have been awol on my blog lately.... but~ here is our new ladies ministry!

Chic Chat

Wednesdays at 6:45pm

Location in August 2009 Shoney's in West Memphis

We exist for the purpose of:

Chic Chattin' about God's Word

Embracing our Destiny ~ Encouraging Each Other ~ Encountering His Presence

Hope to see you tonight!



ps..... regular blogging coming soon! School has started and this mom will have a few minutes to do the things SHE loves like writing and blogging! (There are SOME advantages to kids going to school, but I still would MUCH rather have them home!)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Check this Link Out!

Ok. Summer time is takin' its toll on my blogging, but I have to share this link today.

If you have a teenager and haven't seen this blog, you need to. Moms of guys and girls- this is a great tool for you to use.

Check it out weekly.

Have a great week and I will see you all regularly when school starts back....!

love ya!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Somebody's Knocking at the Door, Someone's Ringing the Bell

Ok. I wrote the title of this post and now I can't get the old song out of my head!!

Does anybody else over 40 remember this song? I think it was the first "rock-n-roll" song I remember hearing.... (I was just a child). Ha!

I do not remember anything else about or of this song except what I wrote in the title, so if it has horrible lyrics or connotations, please pretend I never put that in here. :0)

But...... I have a verse on my heart and that phrase goes with it.

Revelation 3:20
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me."

This is Jesus talking to the church in Laodicea.
1) My question is, why is He outside the door knocking? Why isn't He already INSIDE with the body OF Christ?

Did they boot Him out?
Did they get so busy they forgot about Him?
Or were they all "into" doing the work of the Lord that they left the Lord of the work outside?

2) My second question is, "Why doesn't He have a key?" Why does He have to knock?

3) My third question: He says, "IF anyone hears my voice", shouldn't the church be earnestly seeking HIS voice and HIS direction?

4) My final observation is He is longing to have fellowship with the church. He wants to come over and hang out, eat pizza and drink a diet coke and have m&ms for dessert. Oh, yes! I believe if Jesus came to my house He would bring me a package of plain m&ms and a diet coke! ~ because my friends do that. :0)

Well, I don't know about you but I am RUNNING to the door of my heart! I hope He hasn't been standing out there too long!

Come on IN, Jesus!

I hope you dwell on this for a bit today! I think I'm gonna share a little bit more on this tomorrow.

love ya!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stay on Track!

I was so excited to get back into some sort of schedule today!

I got my Bible out. I put my praise and worship music on sat down for a great time with the Lord.

It is time for me to read through Philippians again. I decided I would read the whole book in one setting today and then study it out the rest of the week. So, I am reading happily along, being reminded of my favorite verses as I pass through them.


What was that?

Who put that verse there?

Has that ALWAYS been there?

I re-read this little hidden verse and there it still was!

Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Philippians 3:16

How have I missed this before?

I just love it when I find a new "treasure"! And today was no exception!

In Philippians 3, Paul is telling the Philippians that we should have no confidence in our flesh. He then goes on to encourage them to "press on to the goal" that Christ has called us to. Then right there he hid this little sentence in there.

The whole paragraph reads this way:

12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

The Message version puts it this way:

12I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. 13Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward--to Jesus. 14I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. 15So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision--you'll see it yet! 16Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it.

So what is it Paul is telling us and the Philippians?

Basically - don't back track. Press on and don't go backward. Don't dwell in the past. Don't lose spiritual ground you have already gained, just go forward in your relationship with Christ! Did God give you a victory over that area in your life that you have s-l-o-w-l-y allowed your flesh to fall back into? When God places you on a certain track, stay there and don't go backwards.

I don't know why that verse struck me so hard today. Maybe sometimes it is easy to get comfortable and a little too casual with spiritual things when we are out of our routine. Maybe I need to "LIVE UP" to what I "have already attained". Maybe I need to get back to where He placed me.

As I began reflecting on this verse today in my devotion time, the Holy Spirit, in His perfect way began revealing to me ways that I have not "lived up" to what I have already won.


At the same time, my ipod was playing a song about the Holiness of God.

Thank you Lord that you love me the way I am and that you love me enough to not let me stay that way!

I pray you allow the Holy Spirit to do a progress check in your heart. It's not always fun, but you sure come out better when He is finished!



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Birthday DAD!

Happy Birthday to my Wonderful Dad!

70 years ago on July 21st in the stick woods of Arkansas one of the most loving and wonderful man was born. Frank and Etta Rutherford already had two daughters and and two living sons. That day, another boy was born to their family.

They named him, Charles David. Two more sons and another daughter would follow him, making Charles (Charlie to most) smack dab in the center of this big family.

I've heard stories of his mischievousness as a boy. I've heard how he got in trouble one time and grandma was going after him with a switch. He decided he would just burn the house down. He crawled underneath their shotgun house with a box of matches. I'm not sure how or when he got out, but I'm sure he didn't sit down for a while. :)

I've heard how he fell in love with a pretty girl at the Assembly of God church in Hickory Ridge. She wouldn't date him unless he went to her church. So, he went to her church. As soon as she was old enough, they got married.

I've heard lots of stories about Charlie, but I have lots to tell myself. I tell my kids all the time what a wonderful and godly grandfather they have. I tell them how silly he used to act when we had friends over (like standing on his head, sneaking around the house trying to scare us, and many more). I tell how he was and is a great man, a loving man, and a man of awesome integrity.

He is happy, jolly and just plain fun to be around. He loves his wife and kids and absolutely adores all the granddaughters, grandson and the great granddaughters. (Jordan is severely out numbered!)

My sister and I are blessed beyond measure to have two wonderful parents. I am thankful more than words can say to be able to call Charles David Rutherford my father, my "daddy".

So, today, July 21st, I wish my wonderful dad "Happy Birthday"!

I love you so much DAD! Thank you for all your wisdom, patience, and love~!

hApPy bIrThDaY!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kids Camp 2009

Arkansas Assemblies of God Kid's Camps and Youth Camps are somewhat of a legend for A/G kids in the state.

I came to this camp for the first time when I was 8. My life has never been the same since. In the 33 years since then (Did I really just put that in here??) I have missed very few summers on these sacred grounds. The last few have probably been my longest stretch of not being here since having children.

I was a little hesitant about returning this year as a counselor- number 1 because it takes a GREAT deal of energy and enthusiasm to be an effective counselor. After I hit 40 my enthusiasm level was there but the physical energy wanes quite a bit! :0)

We drove in on Sunday. My youngest child was so excited to have mom and dad with her. She is the main reason we exerted that effort to be here.

God has once again proved His faithfulness! The glory and power of the Lord have been here in the services and these kids have had a FUN time during the day. Go-Karts, swimming, games, food, fun and friends.

Yesterday morning I woke up and read this scripture:
Psalm 16:7-8
"I bless the Lord who give me counsel, in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me because He is at my right hand I shall not be shaken."

My prayer today is that these beautiful and precious kids will "set the Lord always before them" and may He always be their right hand and not be shaken."

Oh, I could go on and on about church camp! How many memories I have here as a camper and a counselor. Now my kids will have their own memories! They will not "be shaken" if they "set the Lord always before them".

Ok. Gotta stop. I am rambling but I am smiling at the goodness and mercy of my God!

love you all! I can't wait to get back to regular blogging! i miss you!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Power of the Blood and the Power of the Word

It seems like I haven't been able to blog consistently in FOREVER! But..... such is the life of a busy working mom in the summer. :)

Today in my personal prayer time I was seeking God's face and His will on some things for our family~ "Do I homeschool my youngest?" "Do I concentrate on my stories in the fall or do I concentrate on finishing my degree?"

Question after question I petitioned before my Lord.


So, I prayed a little louder. Maybe He didn't hear me.

I don't know about you, but when I petition the Father, I want an answer RIGHT NOW! Not tomorrow, not next week, but RIGHT NOW. I am sure He must sit in heaven and lovingly roll His eyes at me and whisper, "Wait my child."

Today, I was drawn to His written Word.

I poured over His love letter to me. Searching. Seeking. Surely the answers were going to be written there somewhere..... "Yes, homeschool Taylor." or "Do not homeschool Taylor." Where is that? Haphanai 3:16??? :)

What I did find was He wanted my attention on Him, not my questions, not my petitions. Just to focus on His Grace, His Mercy, His Holiness.

That's when it always happens.

I look into His Holiness and see my selfish nature in its raw and ugly form.

I race back to His Word.
Tears stream down my face.

His Word begins to cleanse and wash and sanctify.

You see, we are washed clean from our sin by the precious Blood of Jesus.
We are washed daily in sanctification by the precious Word.

His Word is Truth and regenerates our soul that has been contaminated by the world we live in. [Ephesians 5:26 "by the washing of water by the Word."] Thank you Jesus for the Word of God! I would hate to see who I would become without the power of the Blood and the Word!

Just some of my rambling thoughts on the Greatness of our God and His Holiness....


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Vacation Memoirs

Blann Vacation 2009
We are on the eve of heading home from a long and wonderful family vacation.
From Memphis to Canada to NYC to DC to Williamsburg, we feel like we have been gone for years, although it has only been two weeks.
We started out with a gusto, anxious to see the sights and experience new adventures. We leave with a heart felt ache for home and the familiar.

We have laughed so hard our sides hurt. We have been cranky. We have even cried. We have stood in awe at the wonders of God's creation.
Our first major stop was in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. This was the first time our youngest, Taylor, left the country. Passports in hand we crossed the border into Canada. (Our kids have replayed the border crossing several times re-in acting mine and Rusty's answers to Border Patrol's questions. ~ Hilarious!)Within minutes our mouths gaped open in astonishment at the beauty of the Falls! Even now, I remember the looks on my kids faces as they saw the majesty of God's creation.
From Canada we started long trek number two to New York City where we were meeting our daughter and her family. As much as our kids stood in amazement at the Falls, again they stood in amazement at enormity of the city. What fun we had in NYC! My favorite things were the Statue of Liberty, eating pizza in Times Square, and of course, m&ms world! (It was an m&m collector's dream!)
I have to put the picture in here of the window washer on the Empire State building! Whatever he makes, trust me, it is NOT enough!!

After New York City we traveled to our daughter's house outside of DC. We had planned on seeing a few things in DC, but we were exhausted so we took a break and just relaxed before heading to Williamsburg.
The last leg of our journey has been here in Williamsburg. The kids have been in amusement park heaven! We haven't even begin to see all there is to see in this vacation "mecca".
While here in this historical city we have enjoyed our family time together. Our favorite past time has always been going to the movies together. This is where we have cried together. Last night we watched "My Sister's Keeper". Tear Jerker. (There were fewer sibling squables on the way home.) The unsaid emotions were felt more than spoken.
We are a family. Strong. Loving. Diverse. Unified. Our time with our daughter and her family were moments we cherish. Our time with our three at home is priceless. We make memories one moment at a time.
Tomorrow, (0r today for most of you reading this) we will be in our vehicle making a 14 hour trip home. I am certain we will be cranky and short with each other before will pull into West Memphis, but I am also certain deep down we will all cherish each memory we have made in this 2,000+ mile trip.

I look forward to seeing my home, my parents, my sister, my friends, my church family, and MY BED! I look forward to spending more time with this crew I call my family as we continue our journey in life.
For now, I am packing and getting ready to head home! You know you have had a great vacation when you are ready to get back to the routines of life like laundry and cooking and working! And that- we are ready for!
Arkansas! Here we come!
woo hoo!!