Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas in different languages!


French - Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

Han - Drin tsul zhit sho ahlay & Drin Cho zhit sho ahlay

Spanish - Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo

Vietnamese - Chuc Mung Giang Sinh - Chuc Mung Tan Nien
Malayan - Selamat Hari Natal
Aramaic - Edo bri'cho o rish d'shato brich'to!
Bulu - Duma e bo'o
Greek - Kala Christougenna Ki'eftihismenos O Kenourios Chronos
Iraqi - Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah

Japanese - Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto

Korean Sung Tan Chuk Ha

Latin - Pax hominibus bonae voluntatis
Norweigan/Nynorsk - Eg ynskjer hermed Dykk alle ein God Jul og Godt Nyttår

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Father's Plumb Christmas Story

This Plumb Christmas story also comes from the "Beyond The Manger" by Don Johnson.
I hope you enjoy it.

The Father's Will
A widower and his son both had a taste for fine art. In fact they spent a good portion of their lives together traveling the world and collect master pieces. Their collection was said to be the envy of the world.
As time would have it war broke out and the old man's son was sent to fight for his country. The old man missed his son but was proud of the honors he received in battle. His son was as valiant a warrior as he had been an art collector.
One day the news came that his son while saving some men had lost his own life in battle. The old man was devastated. He was now truly alone. He soon lost interest in everything including the priceless works of art that adorned his household. No one could reach him. He sat heartbroken everyday mourning His son.
It was Christmas day and the old man sat where he always sat starring at the fireplace missing his son and giving up on life. A knock came at the door and the old man rose slowly and made his way to the door. There stood a young man with a package in his hand.

"Sir, I know you don't know me but I knew your son. In fact Sir, I am one of the men who owe him their lives. He saved mine sir the day he lost his."

The old man invited the young man in and together they shared a few memories about the man's son.

"Sir, your son and I would sit for hours talking about art. He told us about the great collection you have and about each adventure you went on to collect them. Sir, I am an art lover also and I painted you this portrait of your son." He held out the package.

Trembling the old man tore open the paper. The artwork was crude by the old man's standard but there in the portrait he did indeed see the face and character of his beloved son.

With tears falling down his face the old man pushed aside the great masterpiece that hung over the mantle and placed there the picture of his son. He thanked the young man and told him he would treasure it always.

Many years passed and the old man grew sick and died. Having no surviving family the art world was overjoyed. They knew that the old man's collection would have to be auctioned off.
According to the old man's will the auction would take place on Christmas day. The day he was given his greatest gift the picture of his son.

The auction house was packed. As the auctioneer got up to start the auction, he held up first the portrait of the old man's son. There was grumbling and no one offered a bid. No one wanted the picture of the old man's son! They wanted the master pieces!

The auctioneer finally explained that it was in the will that this piece be the first piece sold. Still no takers, in fact more complaints arose from the crowd. Hesitantly, a gentleman who was a neighbor of the old man offered all he had for it.....$10.

"Going once!"

"Going Twice!"

"Sold!"

The auctioneer then announced that the auction was now over!

"What!"
"There are millions of dollars worth of painting there!"
"How can it be over?"

"It states in the Father's will.....Whoever takes the son will get it all!"

Take Jesus this Christmas because just like this old man.....whoever takes the SON WILL ONE DAY GET IT ALL!

Merry Christmas!

Pamela

Monday, December 22, 2008

Plumb Christmas Stories Episode #3

Hi Y'all!

Today's Plumb Christmas stories (Yes, there is more than one) are about Christmas through the eyes of Children and gifts from the heart.

The Golden Gift
One night as a spry little girl was busy trying to wrap a present, her dad came upon her and watched for a few minutes. He watched as she pulled out a little too much gold shiny paper and clumsily wrapped this box. Then to his surprise she actually pulled out more paper to cover this box. A little frustrated at the waste of paper he scolded her about the sloppy wrapping and wasted paper. Her lip quivered as she looked up at him and said, "But Daddy, this is your present and I wanted it to be beautiful." The Daddy now, a little heartbroken kissed her and sent her off to bed.
The next morning was Christmas and everyone was excited about opening their gifts. The little girl grabbed the golden present, wanting her dad to open it first. Her dad unwrapped the box and carefully opened the lid. His anticipation quickly turned to anger however, as he discovered that the box was empty. "Don't you know enough to put a present in a box! You don't give people empty boxes as a gift!" He yelled. The little girl cried. "But Daddy there is something in the box I blew kisses into the box until I thought it was filled! Are my kisses not a good present daddy?" The father's heart this time was not just broken, but then mended by the love of his little daughter. He put the box beside his bed and every time he thought of the little girl, he would reach in to pull out the greatest gift he had ever been given...a kiss of unconditional love.

It is not the gift, it is the love that is treasured at Christmas. God could care less if we give Him an empty box. In fact, I actually think He would prefer our empty hearts, so He could fill them with unconditional kisses of His grace and love!


10 days ago Zoie sang for the Billy Graham Library as a caroler along the outdoor carriage rides. She would start singing every time a carriage started down the drive in front of her station. Sometimes, the carriages would stop for a few seconds to hear her songs; while other times they would only wave and drive on. As one carriage stopped, a lady clapped and shouted a lot of encouragement. When the carriage started to pull away she reached into her pocket and threw something on the ground in front of Zoie. It was a dollar! We could not believe it!
Zoie sang for about another hour before we packed up to leave. We were headed to get something to eat, when Zoie from the back called for her dad's attention.
"Dad?"
"Yes, Baby what is it?"
"Dad if I were to be honest...I need to tell you something. If I were to be honest...after that lady threw me the dollar, I sang more because I wanted more people to give me money than I did for God. That was wrong and I'm sorry."

We sat stunned. One, because what nine year old would even realize that singing more for the money would be wrong. Two, that That it bothered her enough to confess it.
Ladies if I were honest...I can't say that I would have realized it or confessed it!

Celebrating the joy of the season. Celebrating Jesus' birth should be about Jesus!
Not the gifts or parties or songs or entertainment. Those things are tools we use to celebrate! Oh how often do they become the end instead of the means to the end, which is praising and celebrating our Lord.

Please pray for Zoie today because she is on her way to the doctor for the second time in 4 days with an ear infection that doesn't seem to want to clear up.

We love you.
Only two more Plumb Christmas stories to go!

Pamela

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Plumb Christmas Stories #2

Hey Ladies,
Here is another Plumb Christmas Story. If you did not read my previous post please drop below and read it to understand why these Christmas stories are Plumb.

The Stupid Gift
Several years ago a Youth Minister's wife was struggling with the ministry her husband had chosen. The truth was she did not really like being around youth. It wasn't that she hated them...more like she just didn't get them. They were so self-centered, whinny, and could at times be very mean. Her frustration at this population would, on occasion, trickle over to being frustrated at her husband, whom she most of the time adored.
It was that way one Christmas. The youth were a little more challenging and seemed to be all about themselves even more than usual. The woman's husband had a plan, but as he shared it with his wife, she became critical and unenthusiastic. In fact, if she were to be honest she thought the whole idea was stupid.
The plan was to have the youth give a party for some kids who were needy, instead of having a party with gifts for each other. Sure enough, the plan was met with little to no enthusiasm by the youth; although the adult leaders (except for his wife) loved the idea. It was set.
After contacting a service ministry that helped the homeless and down and out, it was decided that everyone would draw the name of a child and buy them a pair of shoes.
"Shoes!" The youth minister's wife shouted. "What child at Christmas is going to want a pair of shoes? Why not toys or even a coat? Shoes? I don't get it! This party will probably bomb right in your face." Yes, She was a very supportive wife at that time....NOT!

The night of the party the church bus was packed with youth, adults, food and wrapped up packages of shoes. The children came into the shelter room and pounced on the food. "At least we did this right." Thought the youth minister's wife, still in a frustrated huff. Games were then played and carols sung. Everyone enjoyed the games and carols. "At least they had a good time." Thought the youth minister's wife feeling sad more than mad now. Her hard heart had begun to melt for these children and for the youth who were giving so generously from their hearts. She had never seen them so loving and eager to serve.
But now was the time to pass out the gifts. Oh how these children were going to be so disappointed. "SHOES! Only Shoes"
Each child's name was called and presents were tore into. With each opened package, came a strange sound. The youth minister's wife sat astonished and mystified. Each child screamed with delight at the shoes. Shouting, "My own Shoes!" "New Shoes and they are brand new!" "Wow! look ma! Shoes! Reeboks!"
The children were not disappointed the gifts were not toys! In fact, they were screaming with delight at the shoes! One little girl walked over to the youth minister's wife to show her her new shoes. " I'm going to sleep in these tonight! Are they really mine?" A youth boy had been standing beside the now broken wife. He picked up the little girl and said, "They are yours to keep. Jesus loves you and wanted us to get you new shoes." Tears fell down the youth minister wife's face and washed away the frustrations and prejudices she had against, not these homeless children, but the youth in her own church.

Many years have passed but I will never forget that night and how it broke my angry heart. There is not a Christmas that goes by where I don't think about those children, a gift of shoes, and self-centered me watching selfless youth give their all.

Merry Christmas!
Pamela

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Plumb Christmas Stories

Hey Ladies,
Thanks so much for praying for my friend Bonnie. The type of cancer he has does not respond to chemo or radiation. Surgery is not an option at this time either. However, there is an experimental study going on at Harvard on a different drug. This drug has been successful with his type of melanoma. He will be doing some test to see if he qualifies for the study the first week in January. Please! Please! Please pray that he qualifies and that this treatment will be successful.

Every year, I make God a Christmas prayer list (not wish list) of things I would like to see happen during the next year. It is a simple list of only one or two things. When I was single, it was to meet the man God had for me. One thing that is always on the list is that this would be the year Jesus would come back. This year there are three things on my list.

Jesus may this be the year you return. I want to see your face and sit at your feet.

May our family follow You to the ministry positions You are preparing for us, without hesitation and with a full servant's heart passion.

May you heal Bonnie of this cancer and show our world that You are still the great physician.


Now, onto the Plumb Christmas Stories

From now until Christmas, I am hoping to post some of my favorite Plumb Christmas stories. I call them Plumb Christmas stories because they are straight, true and wholly. Which is part of Webster's definition of the word "plumb."

The first is called "The Christmas Gift" and is told on a CD called "Beyond The Manger" by Don Johnson the host of AfterGlow. The story is paraphrased by me for both time and space constraints.

The story teller recalls a Christmas as a young man, when his family was struggling financially along with the rest of the world. His mother had been struggling with her health and even standing was a chore not easily accomplished. His father's Christmas gift to her was a dishwasher. How could he afford such an expensive gift, at a time like that? He wrote a note and made a vow to wash the dishes...every one for one year. This was when real men didn't do housework. Yet, he loved his wife so much that this sacrifice of washing the dishes was the greatest and most loving gift he could give.

It made me think about the gifts I have given my husband over the years. I think I will write down a servant-vow-gift for him this year,and place it along with the others under our tree.

What servant-vow-gift could someone use from you this year?

God gave us His son! Not only for our salvation, but also for us to have abundant life here and for eternity.

Thank you Father Jehovah!

Love to you all.
Look for more Christmas Plumb Stories.

Pamela

Friday, December 12, 2008

One Of My Favorite People

Hi Ladies,
Today I would like to honor one of my favorite people here on earth.
His name is Bonnie Watts. He has been my dad's best friend for over 40 years. Bonnie has also been like a dad to me.
He is a true man of God who loves His Lord Jesus dearly. It oozes out of him. You can not be near him long before you know where he stands and to who his devotion belongs.
He is one of the old breed of men. The kind that heroes are designed after. He is the kind of man, like my own dad, that as soon as they walk into a chaotic situation, people calm down. Not because of their physical strength, even though they are physically stronger than men half their age. It is because they have a commanding presence of peace and strength.
Bonnie is one of those men that whatever he decides to do he does right. God has blessed him in both business and friendships.
He never compromises his integrity or his faith values. I remember a time when he was offered a huge contract to be exclusive provider for a major business. It would be worth millions. The only problem was that Bonnie knew that if he took the deal it would close down one of his smaller competitors. He refused the deal. God smiled.
When I lived in Kentucky and would travel back home for a visit. I would often find gifts hidden in my car.

There was one time when I had to have some work done by a franchise car shop because, a part they had replaced in Kentucky was defective. Before I could leave town, I was instructed to drive to Bonnie's work place. He checked the work to make sure it was done right this time. He looked after me the same way he did his own daughter.

One Christmas, I was about a week out before coming home for Christmas. I got a call one morning that my dad was being rushed to Charlotte with heart issues. I was needed home immediately. As I made arrangements to come home, it dawned on me that I had no Christmas presents for anyone. Being single and in Seminary there was not a lot of extra money, so I made crafts for my family. I had the materials but no time to make them. In light of maybe losing my daddy, I pushed the thoughts of presents right out of my head. About that time, the doorbell rang. It was our mail carrier. She had a package for my roommate that would not fit into the box, so she brought our mail to the door. I absentmindedly thanked her and closed the door. As I was setting down the mail, I noticed one with my name on it. It was from my home church so I opened it. Out fell a check...a large check. It would not only cover my unexpected trip home but be enough to buy any gifts I would need. It was from Bonnie. God had him send money before any of us knew just how bad it was needed. God also sent that package for my roommate. If the mail had not been brought to our door, I would have missed it all together.

I am telling you about Bonnie because he needs your prayers. He has been diagnosed with a rare form of aggressive cancer. Please pray for him and his family. I can't believe that God is done with using him here on earth. I will pray for healing until the spirit directs otherwise. Please join me. He is my friend and I love him dearly.

Thank you for allowing me to share memories and joining me in this prayer battle for Bonnie's health.

Love Pamela

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Ogres

Did you know there is a Christmas Ogre?
No, I'm not talking about Shrek. Though he is sorta cute and has seemed to have made his way into the Christmas holiday traditions as much as the Grinch and Rudolph.

No, this ogre is mean and horrible. Worse than the Grinch. Worse than Scrooge. Bigger than Rudolph's abominable Snowman. Worse than the nuts out there trying to put up signs to quiet us Christians about Christmas!

This ogre is real. He tries to eat up and devour my joy. He is sneaky...I don't know he is there until it is too late. He may one day sneak up on me at the Christmas treat table...where he helps me eat too much of those goodies. The next day he is lurking about at the store, where I loose control and want to buy too much! Where is Dave Ramsey when you need him? That big ugly sneak (The ogre not Dave Ramsey) will even sneak up and steal my time with my family and friends. He steals it, by convincing me that it is my right for something. My right to be on time. My right to have nothing but joy at Christmas! (Where is that in the Christmas Bill Of Rights?)

The truth is this is sometimes a hard part of the year. For some, we will miss those not with us this year. For some we will not be able to provide the gifts we could last year. For some, it is a reminder of a toxic past. The song "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" is ringing as true this year as it did when it was written during the Civil War.

That old ogre loves to trick us into riding the "Bi-polar Express." Up the high hills of joy only to avalanche down into a hole of sadness the next minute.

However, I have found a way to slay this ogre. Yes, it helps to think of the true meaning of Christmas. But I found in my life, that although that wounds him deeply it doesn't slay him. He will come back. This year, I am going to focus not on the manger as much as I am the cross. Not the stable but the Savior.

God dwells in the praise of His people! So I will level off this Bi-polar Express by praising Jesus not the season.

This time of year we will all be let down by either family, friends or just plain ole disappointment.

The ogre can only exist when I focus on myself. He is slain every time I focus on Christ.

It's not about Christmas! It is about Jesus!

Think of Him and slay you a ogre!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I believe in Santa's Cause.

I believe in Santa's Cause.
Did ya get that? Read it again.
I believe in Santa's C-A-U-S-E CAUSE. I do not now nor have I ever believed in the fat, little, red-coated man with a beard and reindeer.

I do believe in Santa.

My belief in the true Santa started as a young child. My mom told us that the store "Santa" wasn't real. In fact she told us that the whole reindeer, North Pole story was just that...a fun story, to give a face to what we could not see. A fun story you could participate in at Christmas time. We would set cookies out and sure enough there were gifts left for us at the fireplace on Christmas morning. But we never said, "Thank You Santa." We said, "Thank You Jesus! Happy Birthday!"

The real Santa was much more special than a fun made-up story. We knew, the real Santa was not a man: more of an idea or CAUSE rather than Clause. The real Santa could only celebrate the true meaning of Christmas...JESUS. Since it was Jesus birthday and you couldn't actually hand him a present. Santa's CAUSE was to give Jesus a present. Jesus' present was to watch all His children open their presents on Christmas morning. Somehow, no matter how financially dismal things were for us at times, Santa's Cause made that happen. It might be that "impossible to find toy" that my sister or I just had to have, that mom and dad found at the last minute. It might be that the budgeted money went just a little further than common sense one year. It might be that the thing I wished for, but didn't dare ask for, that was my surprise that Christmas morn.
Sometimes it was as simple as my favorite candy hidden in the tip of the toe of my stocking. For me, one thing I looked forward to was getting my tangerines. I was deathly allergic to oranges, so I got tangerines.

What I remember most about Santa, and still know today, is that for our family...Santa only points to Christ!

As I got older and realized that my parents were Santa's arms and legs, I was not disappointed! In fact, I came to a greater knowledge of Christ. Are we not His arms and legs? I'm not saying Santa is Christ, but I do get the analogy very well. I too began experiencing being Santa's Cause to my parents. It was fun finding that special present, rather than just a brush for mom and a tie for dad. Giving gifts took on a whole new meaning at Christmas. These were not just gifts I had to give my family at Christmas; they were birthday presents from Jesus! I pray hard about each present and ask God to help me choose wisely and with Santa's Cause in mind.

For me, I still believe. And if I could whisper this little secret to you....

Shhh...I believe with all my heart that one day, in Heaven, as I'm being introduced to everyone in my hot pink pumps...I'll meet and shake the hand of a being named Santa!

What about you? I know many would not agree with me and that is OK. This post is not meant to start an argument on the right or wrong of Santa. It is meant to tell you what my family believes most of all. Christmas is about Christ!

But my last word is..... that is SANTA'S CAUSE!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Thermometer Of Faith

Hey Y'all!

Are you stuffed with Turkey and cranberry sauce? Can you ever eat enough cranberry sauce? I bet you now know what my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is...the cranberry sauce! But the candied sweet tators come in a close second.

We had a eventful but amazing Thanksgiving trip. We left Tuesday night about 7:00 and drove about 5 hours before stopping for the night. It was late so we all three quickly snuggled down for the night in our big king size bed. Sometime in the night, Zoie crawled out of bed and went to the bathroom. Since we are all sharing a bed and I'm the mom, I of course woke up. She took a while and just when in my half awake state I begin to wonder if my nine year old had snuck down to the lobby for her dad a morning surprise coffee (she would never do this by the way...I did say I was half asleep.) She crawled back in bed saying her legs hurt. I reached over and pulled her into a snuggle....and jumped straight up out of bed.

"Zoie, do you feel bad baby?"
"Yes, Mama but I don't have a fever!"
" Yes! You do! Mike! Wake up...She's burning up! Where's the Motrin? I know I packed it. Oh, thank you God, I remembered to pack it! Oh no! I didn't remember the dispenser cup! I don't know how much to give her! Let me see if I can find something?"

As I am running around the motel room looking for a spoon or something I could measure out the medicine in, Zoie is crying. Mike is holding her and trying to console her.

"I can't have a fever! I want to go to Nana's."
"Did you pack the thermometer?"
"NO! I forgot that too!"

I found a empty plastic water cup and turned it caddy-cornered and poured in the Motrin into the corner of the cup doing a mother's best guess at what two teaspoons might be.

I grabbed another cup and put some water in it and gave her the medicine with a water chaser. She would have rather had sweet tea but you do with what you got! We then went back to bed.

Zoie went to sleep. Mike went to sleep. I worried and kept touching her belly all night. At one point, She was burning up again and sweating at the same time. I took this as as a good sign. Her fever was breaking.

What should we do? How high had that fever been. It felt like it was when she had the flu. What if it is the flu? We can't take it to Louisiana. Does she need antibiotics? She said her neck hurt, could it be Spinal meningitis?

Oh.....how the enemy loves to make us moms worry! The night was a terrible battle with no peace and no answers. I prayed for wisdom and fought off irrational worry. (If I hadn't battled it we would have spent the night in the emergency room.)

The next morning, no fever. She still did not feel well but no fever. We still did not know if we should head on or head back. We asked the front desk clerk if there was a drug store near-by. I needed a thermometer. I did not trust my hand. I needed to know what her exact temperature was...right now! So we left and drove to a drugstore and plopped the newly bought thermometer right into her mouth. Normal! We decided to go on.

Our whole direction depended on that little thermometer's reading. It did for the rest of the trip. Our faith and guidance was wrapped up in that little black digital reading and tiny beeps.

It made me think...If I received so much peace out of a little stick that measures temperature...what peace should I receive from God's word? I honestly had put more faith in that thermometer, than I had in the plans I had already believed was God's for our trip.

While worrying and pleading/praying the night before, I had asked God to take away the fever so we could go on and not turn back. Why had I not trusted my own judgement or hand to tell that the next morning. No, I needed the thermometer to tell me it was OK to go on.

Now that thermometer, is a reminder for me to trust. I don't need man's devices to tell me what I should do. I just need to trust the great hand of God when I can't tell what the temperature is and what I should do.

We had a fantastic time and Zoie stayed well. She was achy at times and more tired. But happy and well. God blessed our trip.

I hope yours was as wonderful but not as eventful!

I love you all!
Pamela

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Happys

Hey Y'all,
Happy Thanksgiving!
We are heading out of town tomorrow (Tuesday) for a 4 state/two day trip to spend Thanksgiving with family. We will be returning on the weekend, so please pray for safe travel.
Also, pray for my back as I ride that far. I had to get that third shot after all, and so far it has not worked. It takes some time, so I'm hoping the medicine will kick in by tomorrow (please God).

In honor of Thanksgiving I would like to share some riddles I did for my students. They are not hard but are fun.

Thanksgiving Riddles
What Am I?

I sit on your table, but for me it is not a treat. You see me, carve me, and then eat, eat, eat! So don’t be in a hurry or real jerky. I am the Thanksgiving __________?

I’m what you are thankful for besides the turkey and dressing. You can also count me, I am a ___________?

Lots of people come and sit around me, all who are able. A bounty of blessings is on top of me. I am your _________?

You come together with memories and blessings to Oh remember. I love listening to your stories. I am the month of ______________?

I change myself to look beautiful because God I want to please.
You can crunch me, bag me, or throw me in the breeze. I am colorful instead of green today. I am the ______________?

We all get together to share our blessings. We are cousins and aunts, uncles and gramps. And even though I can only rhyme with a nonsense word like chamily, I dearly love them anyway they are my ________?


Did you get them?

Here is another little "Happy" I am truly thankful for:

We have a screen saver program that puts up a new scripture and picture up every day. This past weekend the picture was of two pigs snouts sticking through the slats of a fence. One snout was clean and pink with only a trace of mud. The other snout was muddy, but had a beautiful shiny gold ring in it. The scripture was Proverbs 11:22 "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a woman who shows no discretion."
We were doing something on the computer that night when Zoie saw the picture. She asked what the verse meant. We explained it was like a woman who was beautiful, but showed too much of her body...was as bad as a dirty old pig with a gold ring in his nose. The next morning as we were getting ready for church, Mike and Zoie were in my office, when I came in still in my PJ's. Mike asked jokingly, "Are you going to church like that?" That's when Zoie popped up, "Only if she wants to look like a pig with a gold ring in it's nose."

Lastly, on a serious note. I am most Thankful for Jesus. Without Him there would be no reason for thanks...no good left at all.

I am saved, forgiven, redeemed and loved beyond my own comprehension.
I am thankful that you are too.

God bless your Thanksgiving.

I love you all.
Pamela

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Truth Or Consequences

Do you remember the old game show that Bob Barker did before "The Price is Right?"

It was funny! People would either tell the truth about something the shows producers had found out about them or take the consequences. The consequences were that of slap-stick comedy. I loved it as a child.

The truth is that their are always consequences to our own truths.

We all have secrets. Luke 12:2-3 says one day it will all be out in the light. We all are judged by our actions everyday, by others and by God.

In my last post I gave a scenario where the Queen of Sheba testified against me in court. It was a piece of fiction...but the truth is she will. According to Luke 11:29-32 She will be one of the judges against our generation come judgment day. Why? Because she turned and believed and gave honor to God after seeing all God had done for King Solomon and Israel. How many times has God done something for me and I keep turning away to do my own thing? Too many!

Today as I read Luke 12:35-40, it reminded me that every moment I need to be ready for Jesus to return.

Am I prayed up?
Have I confessed every sin?
Have I forgiven every offense? Ouch!
Have I let go of my past?
Have I told everyone I could about the true Son of God?
Does the guy at Dunkin Donuts where I go for quiet and a cup of coffee every Monday morning, know I love Jesus?

Guess what I had to say "No" to all of them.

The truth is we will never be completely ready. There will be no time when we will be able to say yes to all those questions.

But the consequences can be eternal if we don't try.

What about you? Lets try together.

Lets turn our consequences from punishment to joy.

Instead of the Queen of Sheba being one our judges lets join her in the jury room.

I love you
Pamela

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Nightmare Jury!

It was absolutely ghostly! Hollywood could not have made a scarier place. The foggy mist, the echos of once convicted souls hollering about their sentences. It was a room... eerie and gray like looking through a thick fog only there was no moisture. I could hear myself breathe...a little wheezy. It wasn't asthma...not here anyway. It was a wonder I could breathe at all...was I even allowed to breathe here? Suddenly I heard my name. Not Pamela or Pam my full name, even my maiden name, which I dropped when I got married because my husband liked my middle name, and I didn't want to write out four names...I wonder if that little bit of laziness will count?

I step forward to the front. I am standing in front of a large desk...It is called something else but right now, I am too scared to remember what. I should know, after all the court TV shows I've watched. Huhmmm? What if that counts too? Some of them were pretty raunchy. Oh my!

Out to the side I watch as someone steps up to the jury box. (At least I remembered what that was called) I do not know her, but I know she knows me. I can tell by the way she looks at me. She is dressed like someone from ancient times or the Bible. She is beautiful. I wish I could look that good. Ooops! Will that count too? Is that called envy? She is joined by several men and women from different times in history. Some are tribal looking people. One looks like a cruel dictator from somewhere in South America. He was on the news a lot, when I was in my 20's...what was his name? It began with an N? Oh! Noriago! How could he be on my jury? I barely know him from the news. This is so strange. I want to go home! But I can't! I have to stay here! It is my time!

This isn't an American courtroom. Here the jurors are also my witnesses. They will judge and testify against me. I here their names now: The Queen of Sheba, the people of Nineveh, the Acua tribesmen, the very ones who killed the missionaries! There is Doc Holiday, along with other gunslingers from the old west. Some politicians and musicians, who I would have never believed would be here. There is some bad looking biker dudes and many soldiers from every war I have ever read about in history.

All of these people have one thing in common...they are here to judge me.

I listen as they list my sins, and I realize that even though I have never met these people...they know every detail about me. All the things I thought were hidden or forgotten are now before me, as evidence against me. I am ashamed and fall to my knees in fear and in tears.

Suddenly, the room lights up with blinding whiteness! I can't see and must cover my face. The light is so bright, it hurts my eyes even though the are both closed and covered by my hands! I am being lifted to my feet...no off my feet...I am in the air...being held up high and twirled like a kid in the arms of her father. No, it is really more like the old romance movie scenes where the man twirls his long lost girl in the air. I open my eyes, as I hear this loud powerful voice say...

NOT GUILTY! SHE IS MINE! This isn't a nightmare this is heaven!

Luke 11:29-32 has been haunting me for the past week or so.
Jesus said that this generation (Which includes us ) would be judged by the Queen of Sheba because we seek signs and proof, but we do not believe what we have already seen. We will also be judged by the people of Nineveh who upon hearing of their sins turned and obeyed God. Just from one sermon (and not a good one at that!)

Well just like I don't want rocks to do all the praising, I don't want these people judging me either come judgment day.

No matter what your doctrine is about the judgements that will or will not fall on Christians then...
This I know and will stand on for eternity. I belong to Christ! His blood covers me! I want with all my heart for Him to shout...Well Done Baby Girl!

My mom use to have a saying when I would get in trouble and say: "But I didn't mean to!" She would shoot back "I know. But the problem is that you didn't mean not to!" Translation: I didn't set out not to get in trouble...by not caring or "meaning not to"...I let trouble get me.

So starting today...I am going to do everything I can to "mean not to" sin!

It won't be easy! I will fail! But with practice and determination, maybe just maybe, I will have fewer things for the Queen of Sheba to say against me!

Love ya!
Pamela

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'll Join The Rocks

There is a song I love off of the FFH CD Ready To Fly called "I'll Join The Rocks."
In the song it speaks of how we have become so complacent in our faith. We have just sat back and let those "Called ministers" be the ones whose faith shows. The singer of the song says:

The time has come for me
to leave this world of complacency
and step across that line
to the place where I
can leave all that I have behind
and give YOU this heart of mine.

But what if I'm the only one to break the silence
What if I'm the only one to crack the ice

I'll join the rocks with their singing.
I'll join the ocean as it harmonizes with the shore
I'll clap my hands with the mountains
as all creation shouts for more
I'll never stop, if I'm the last one living
Your song goes on and on and I must testify
I know that I was born to worship
So if all the singing seems to stop
I'll join the rocks!"

I love that song. It has a great FFH beat and speaks to my heart so strong. Zoie and I love signing to it too. You should see us signing and singing and me driving too going down the road. I'm sure we look strange! Heehee!

I don't want to be complacent in my faith. I don't want the rocks to testify more than me.

Last Saturday I did a women's conference in Lancaster, SC. My topic was on Friendships and how everything we do will either push our friends to Christ or away from him. But strangely enough even though it wasn't in my notes God kept speaking to my heart about how we have to stop playing at being Christians.

Our time is running out! I am not a doomsday Sayer or a fortune teller by any stretch of the imagination. So please don't misinterpret this message that way. Only God knows when our precious Jesus will return. I hope and pray it will be in my lifetime. But this I do know. We Christians are losing our rights faster than I would have ever dreamed possible. America is in trouble economically and spiritually.

We have got to turn from our wicked ways and join the rocks! If God is judging/punishing this nation one thing is clear it is not the unbeliever's fault....IT IS OURS!

Let me ask you some questions I have had to ask myself. (I have not liked my own answers)
How much did you pray for this election and cry out to God in tears?
How much have you been on your knees seeking any wicked way in you that God could cleanse so that your prayers would be effective?
How much time have you spent on your knees this week after the election praying both for and about our nation?
Have you spent your life as if praying for our nation was the most important thing you should be doing?

I did not like my own answers. Because to tell you the truth...I would rather play with my family or watch TV than to spend that kind of time in prayer. Just being honest here.

But God is convicting my complacent heart and today I'll join the Rocks!

This past Sunday we had a 3 hour interview with an accessor regarding us being appointed as church planters. It went well and for me further convinced me that my heart feels an urgency about sharing the gospel and telling others about Jesus.

Oh, how I love HIM! But I fail too often in talking to him and tell others about Him. I can't predict tomorrow but for the rest of the day today....

My ship is sailing now
into an ocean and I can't tell
what's on the other side
But I know if I don't leave
my heart will never forgive me
and I'll be left behind

But what if I'm the only one to see
there's more to this
What if we have just begun to scratch the surface

I'll join the rocks with their singing
I'll join the ocean as it harmonizes with the shore
I'll clap my hand with the mountains
as all creation shouts for more
I'll never stop, if I'm the last one living
Your song goes on and on and I
must testify
I know that I was born to worship
So if all the singing seems to stop
I'll join the rocks!

Hallelujah Hallelujah

Come join the rocks!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Back and Blessed

Hey My Sweet, Praying, Bloggy Friends!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! I really can't remember being that sick or scared before.
Zoie did a wonderful job keeping you updated. I asked her if she would do it so you would know why I had not blogged and she jumped at the chance. I pulled it up for her then went and laid back down while she wrote it. Then her dad or I corrected a few spelling and comma errors so she could post.

Here is the rest of the story:
When they did the CT scan last Thursday at the hospital they found a mass and some swollen lymph nodes but the doctor said they were not the problem. (I wish he hadn't told me about them if they were not the problem!) They put me on a high powered antibiotic and a pain med. I had to spend the night with my mom because I was too sick for Mike or Zoie to take care of me. That way too, they could go on to school and work on Friday. Even on the pain meds I was in excruciating pain all night.
By Monday, I was still in pain and weak so I went back to the doctor. More test! Tuesday I got an ultrasound of the area where the mass had been and it was gone. GONE! Even though it was small and insignificant to the doctors, it had become very significant and frightful to me! And now it was GONE! Along with it most of my pain! The pain has continued to diminish so that now it only hurts if I am pulling on that area. I don't know if it was an infection that caused all of this and the antibiotic finally started working, or if the mass was causing the problem and God removed it. What I do know is this:

GOD is my Healer! Although our modern medicine could not figure out what was actually happening...Our God knew! He heard our prayers and sent it away! I believe He healed me!

Now as I promised Zoie, a quick few words on the Color Of A Lie.
My students all individually came up with the same question concerning the thought of turning purple once you lied. "After someone lied to you once, how would you know when they were telling you the truth?" It was a good question. None of them liked the thought of everyone knowing when you lied. I don't think even those of us who try hard to speak only the truth would like it either. I don't know anyone who would not be at least a lavender shade of purple.
Here's why I would be that way. I sometimes don't keep my "saids" as well as my promises.

We have started reminding each other to "keep your said." Example: Mike will ask me to do an errand or to do something for him. I will say "OK." with every intention of doing so. But as my day gets going and full, I forget or lose the time to do it, and I have not "kept my said."
Jesus says to let your "Yes be yes and your no be no!" Keep your said!

My final thought on the Color Of A Lie: It is a good thing we can't see each other's sins that easily. OH...how we would judge each other. But remember this...God does see every purple shade!

I love you more than you will ever know!!!!!
Pamela

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

She's Coming Back!

Thank you , Thank you!

Mom has been better
She went to the doctor on Monday.
Tuesday she went back and the mass-thing was gone!
She is feeling better, her side still hurts..............Sooo keep praying.
THE COLOR of a LIE, has not been answered yet, but will be tomorrow.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for praying.
To moma's bloggers,
LOVE ZOIE...........

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Subbing For Mom

This is Zoie.
I am sub blogging for my mom today.
We need you to really pray for her...she is sick.

Here is the story.
It started on Monday. She started having pains in her side.
Like, when you run fast and your side hurts. Only it didn't hurt all the time.
It didn't get better, in fact it got worse every day! She finely went to the doctor on Thursday.
He sent her straight to the Hospital, He thought she had appendicitis. Thank God it wasn't!
They now think she has a infection in her Colon. She is now taking two types of medicines.
They have found something else but mom won't tell me. But tell you the truth, she doesn't know
what it is either. She goes back to the doctor on Monday. She is scared and is still hurting.
Please pray for her. We are trusting in God for He knows everything.
To moma's bloggers,
Please, please pray for Pamela, Mike, and me for we all are scared. I think you want to know why mom hasn't finished THE COLOR of a LIE. She is sick, and can't blog.
Please pray for her. She will need lots, and lots of prayer.
To moma's bloggers
Please pray, please!
P.S please pray for me too, my throat is sore. Pray for my dad too, he is worried about his sermon.
Moma's girl,
LOVE ZOIE.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Color of a Lie

Everyday I ask the kids I teach a thought provoking and creative question.
I gather these questions from many places and sources, including my own unique little head. I ran across this question a few weeks ago and asked my kids their thoughts.
They were interesting to say the least.
In this time of election and political murk, I wonder what would happen if this question could come true...would we really want to know?

So here it is:

What if people turned bright purple every time they told a lie?

Okay, it is your turn. I want to know your thoughts about this question. I'll let you know some of the kids answers and my own tomorrow.

One last thought as you ponder the consequences of this question:

Proverbs 12:22 "The Lord detest lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful."

Can't wait for your answers! And I'm not lying!
Pamela

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rejected and Blemished...Now a Living Sacrifice!

This little lamb is a living sacrifice.

According to the Old Testament laws of sacrifice, I would have been rejected, not even considered, and in some instances killed or abandoned.

Only unblemished, perfect lambs were accepted as a sacrifice to the Lord.

Now I can tell you, growing up with a noticeable disability this has always irritated me to no end. I have never liked the fact that God even specifically said you could not use a lame animal. "I'm lame! Does that mean you reject me? Does it mean that you will never be able to use me?" I'd cry!

I knew that Jesus had changed that with the New Testament covenant, and that He had made me a new creation...whole in His sight. I also knew Jesus compassion to those with disabilities. Start in any of the gospels, you can't go two pages without Jesus showing compassion and healing someone with a disability. He even answers the disciples question about why a certain blind man was born that way, "To glorify God in Heaven." So you see the compassion and you see that it was not a punishment to have a disability. You also see that God will use the disability to Glorify Himself.

So although I was not the perfect sacrifice for sin, God did not reject me. Instead He made me whole!

This is what I hold to. This is what gives my disability meaning for me. I am here, it is allowed, and because of my faith I will be a living sacrifice to glorify God.

Edie over at http://richgifts.blogspot.com has asked in her Random Question about being a living sacrifice. Go see her and answer this question for yourself.

I know that I am put here for God's glory. I know that God did not look down the year I was born and say to himself, "Hummm, I don't have enough disabled people being born....Ah, here is a little blond haired little girl, I'll give her one." NO! I do believe that because sin entered the world, disabilities happen. I do believe God allowed it to happen to me. But I also believe that at that same time He gave me everything I needed to conquer it within my physical make-up, my emotional make-up and most importantly, If I would turn to Him I would be able to not only conquer it but He would destroy it for me come eternity.

I became a living sacrifice with my disability the moment I asked Him to save me. He has turned it to a story. A story of hope. He has turned it into a ministry. I help others with disabilities and help churches know how to open their doors to those with disabilities. I also help those of you with hidden unseen disabilities realize that we all have them. If God would have had to choose one of us as a sacrifice, we all would have been rejected.

What is your disability? Your blemish? Is it something physical, mental, emotional, or is it some hidden and unconfessed sin?

Give it to Jesus. He will take it and use it for His glory. He will turn it into a living sacrifice!

I love you my friends...blemishes and all!
Pamela

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rejoicing in My Chimney Sweep

One of my favorite Disney songs it the Chimney Sweep song. I love the catchy tune and I love the astounding abilities of the chimney sweeps as they lept from rooftop to rooftop during the song. I always sat starry-eyed and amazed. Alright I'll admit it I still do today.

In thinking about God changing my ashes to beauty, it occurred to me He is the ultimate chimney sweep. He not only cleans the ashes He replaces them with complete and holy beauty. Unlike Dick Van Dike and his cohorts of sweeps in the movie Mary Poppins, God leaves no soot residue. Everything is pure and beautiful.

So as you listen to my sweet Zoie sing this song this morning rejoice that He can turn your ashes to beauty...but far more importantly rejoice in the Ultimate Chimney Sweep!


As a word of explanation: I don't want Zoie's picture over the web so I filmed a picture that hangs in my den while she sang. I think you will like it.


video

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ashes, Ashes, Ashes!

Ashes, Ashes, Ashes!

That's what I have been reminding myself ladies. Why ashes?

Stress!

After my post on "Prayers and Friends Are Welcome Here," several of you helped me to realize all the stress we are under. Sometimes in the midst of things you can't see the whole picture, especially when it seems like each new stress comes after you turn from another one. Much like a big ole house of mirrors, where they all make you look fat! (Big shiver and groan here)

As I begin to look at things from your eyes, I too saw the stress. Then ladies I started to laugh. My first thought was, "Stress? This ain't stress. I know stress!"

I was taken back to 2004. My husband was a youth minister then. I was writing for LifeWay and being a stay at home mom. We had been at this church for 4 years and had made good friends in the community. Within 4 months everything in our lives changed.

Mike had major surgery

He was asked to resign from the church (A bad situation had been brewing under the surface. The pastor resigned on his own because he did not like what the church was doing to us. More on this at another time.)

Now we were without steady income. (Mike right away started doing any kind of work he could find. This finally lead to a temp type job at Billy Graham.)

Now, Mike was driving over an hour to work when he was needed, which wasn't everyday.

We had a SUV we were paying on, that now we couldn't afford and it was eating us up in gas with Mike's commute.

I was having health problems.

My dad had just recovered from a heart attack.

My mom was also having health issues.

I had a four year old we were trying to keep out of the stress and the church stuff.

Mike's dad had a heart cath and found that he had four blockages! He was rushed to Birmingham Al. Which is the closest major heart hospital from where they live. They kept him stable for two weeks, trying to get his heart strong enough for surgery. He had a double bypass and is doing pretty good today.

Because of the commute to Charlotte, we needed to move closer. We began house hunting.

As I lay in bed one morning, praying about all these things it hit me. Worry hit hard! I could not stop. I prayed. I squalled. I tried thinking on other things. Nothing was helping. I sat up in bed and cried out loud, "Father, I know worry is a sin. I know you are taking care of us. But I'm scared and I can't stop. Please give me something to help me stop!" These are the best moments with God!
A question came and seemed to hang there in my mind. It was soft and gentle.

"Is it going to burn?"

I understood.

"Yes, Lord"

"Pamela, why are worried and drowning in ashes, when you should be up walking on water?"

Everything I was worried about, was one day going to burn. The house, the SUV, our jobs, even these bodies we now reside in, would not be with us for eternity. We will get new ones!

A song I had learned while on the mission field came to my head and I started singing it. It is taken from Isaiah 61:3.

He gives me beauty for ashes,
oil of joy for mourning
A garment of praise,
for the spirit of heaviness
I am a tree of righteousness,
planted by the Lord
that He might be glorified.

This song has been my worry song for years. Reminding me that I almost everything I worry about is really just stinking ashes, and He will turn those into beauty.

I wish I could sing it for you now. Well, let me take that back. I wish I could get Zoie to sing it for you now. I can't sing...she can!

I have an idea. I will video tape her singing it and have my husband put it on the computer tonight when he gets home from work. Then you can hear it tomorrow.

So until then, remember when you worry to ask yourself..."Is it going to burn?"

He gives me beauty for ashes......

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Help of My Countenance

Hey Friends,

It has been a stressful, trying and blessed week.

I was getting beyond stressed Tuesday. Several times during the day my husband would encourage me to read Psalm 13 and Psalm 43. I kept meaning to, but I honestly did not see the need because I had already had my quiet time, and it had helped a little, but not enough. I was at that point we all reach sometimes, when we are focused on our feelings instead of God. That point where you feel...what's the point? If reading scripture didn't help me this morning, why should it now. Well ladies, I did not tell my minister husband that...I know better. I'd have gotten a double dose sermon right there. And let's just all admit when we feel this way we honestly don't want to hear the truth...we want to sulk....complain...whine.
That night in the midst of my pout, Mike asked me for like the fourth time, had I read the psalms yet. I said, "No (big long sigh)." He handed me the Bible and said, "Do it now." As I looked up at him, he had the same look on his face that I give Zoie when I'm giving her medicine she doesn't want to take. At first my flesh kicked in and I wanted to be stubborn, but thank God I chose the other way.
Both Psalms were speaking to me as if God was sitting down with me and discussing my dilemmas. However, Psalm 43:5 grabbed my heart and burst it wide open.

"Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God: For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God."

The literal translation of the word help is "salvation."

Just let that steep in your teacup for a minute.

The salvation of my countenance! Why am I anxious? Why am I worried? Why am I pouting and moping around like someone with no hope?

No matter what I face, or what emotion my face may display from my soul's depth, my hope is in God! The salvation of my countenance! That's my attitude! He is the salvation of my attitude!

And ladies, as women we all need some salvation of our attitudes once in a while...OK a lot!

Oh, how I often need some salvation in my attitude! How I needed it the other night! I'm sure I will need it again and again and again!

What about you? Does your attitude need some salvation?

Look to the only one who can truly save us from anything....The One, The Only, The Help of my Salvation...JESUS CHRIST!

Let Him give your countenance/attitude a dose of salvation and a little adjustment!



Thank you all for praying for Zoie and Mike during the celebration yesterday. God moved through them and it was amazing!

Love ya bunches more!
Pamela

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Black Haired Beauty Now Dancing With Jesus

Hey Friends,

My Aunt Lily went to be with the Lord yesterday morning.

The Celebration will be Wednesday at 2:00. Keep the family in your prayers. I again ask for more prayers for Zoie and Mike as they prepare to sing. The momma bear in me wants to shield Zoie and protect her from this experience. But the momma who trust God, knows in her heart that this is an experience that Zoie must face.

Zoie has experienced the deaths of loved ones and been a part of our ministry to those in our churches who have lost loved ones. In fact when she was a toddler, she often went with us, "to love on people" who were sad because someone they loved had gone on to the "party" with Jesus.

Her first experience with one of her own loved ones dying, came when she was two years old. My Uncle Tommy died. We told her that he had went to the "party" to be with Jesus. This however, would be the first time she would be exposed to the whole family gathering all day for 2 days, type of mourning. As we were driving to My aunt Doris' house, I wanted her to know what to expect. I told her there would be a lot of family there. Some would be laughing and telling stories about Uncle Tommy. Some would be crying because they are missing Uncle Tommy, even though they know he is with Jesus, they miss him.

We had not been there long when my Uncle Mern, from yesterday's story came in the house. He was crying. Zoie watched him. He sat down on the couch and Zoie immediately got up and walked over to him, laid her hand on his knee and asked, "Uncle Mern, are you sad that Uncle Tommy died?" Now, I have to be honest right now, I held my breath and maybe even called her name for her to come back over to me. I just didn't know what she was going to do. In fact the whole room got quiet as they turned to watch.
He answered her, "Yes, baby I am." She looked up at him and asked, "Can I pray for You?" He smiled at her and said, "Yes." Then she did! Out loud. I remember it word for word the way only a momma can. "Dear Lord, We want to thank you for taking Uncle Tommy to be at the Party. But Lord we are sad because we miss him. Can you help us not be sad, because he is with you and one day we will be too. In Jesus name, Amen."
My mouth flew open. I was in awe. God had spoken clearly through my two year old what many in that room needed to hear. Most of us adults, though we believed it, would not have said it. I ashamed to say, I would not have back then. Some in that room was not believers and I would have kept quiet. (It is hard when your family redicules you for your strong faith.) Not after that.
It shook everyone in the room.

Pray that this time too God will use a child to lead them. Us adults, who have a little fear sharing our faith and that those who do not yet understand or want to believe the truth about Jesus will now believe!

That's what Aunt Lily would want. That's what God wants. It is not what the enemy wants. But the enemy doesn't win!

Thanks so much.
I love you
Pamela

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Living Love Story

Last week my mom and dad celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary!
Between trips to see my aunt and having surgery on her wrist for carpel tunnel, I'm not sure how much they really celebrated.
One thing I do know is how much they love each other!
Would you indulge me a minute while I tell you their love story.
Both came from share-cropping families from the foothills of the Blueridge mountains. Both families were poor...very poor.
My Aunt Ruby met a young man and wanted to date him. However, the rule was that she had to go out on double dates only. She begged my mom to go on a blind date with the young man';s brother. After giving my mom his description, my mom said, "NO way!" (My mom had promised herself to never date a redhead) She did however after some more persuasion agree to go out with a cousin.
The night of the date they came into a little coffee/sandwich shop. (Here is my favorite part of the story.) My dad was there sitting at the counter (very redheaded) when they came in the door. He looked up and saw my mom. He swears, that at that moment, he decided he was going to marry that woman, because she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. The couples went to a booth. Dad walked over and scooted everyone over until he was right in front of my mother. Soon he had everyone laughing and not even minding that he had joined them.
The next day mom and a friend were hanging out after church. There wasn't much to do on Sunday afternoons, so my aunt was wanting to go riding with the young man she had went out with the night before. My mom and her friend agreed to come along so she could go. As the car pulled up they noticed someone else was there too. My redheaded dad. They drove around having a good time. But this was the day my dad would have to report back to base...he was in the army. So they all decided to drive him to the base. My mom said her heart was almost breaking when my aunt's young man said goodbye to my dad. They were close brothers and since this was Korean war time, they did not know if this would be the last time they saw each other. Both boys were in the service and not sure where they would end up. The drive home was not as joyous and mom could not get that redheaded boy off of her mind. Two days later a letter arrived for her in the mail. It was from my dad. He told her that he wanted to see her. He told her that he had another leave coming up and that he was going to pick her up for a date. He liked her and he was going to come see her whether she liked it or not! She liked it! They dated mostly by letters (One a day everyday from the very first one) and were married in 1954.
Oh, as a side note my mom's sister (my Aunt Ruby) also married my dad's brother (My Uncle Mern) a year later.
My dad still looks at my mom the same way he did that night in the coffee shop. And she still laughs at all his jokes even if he is now bald instead of redheaded.

Both love God with all their heart and raised me and my sister to do the same.

Celebrate with me as I lift my family up for a moment in honor to their love, but also the love of the God they both serve that brought them together. To His name may the glory and praise ever be!

Pamela

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Prayers and Friends are Welcome Here

Hi Ladies,
I have been reading a lot of you who are doing the "Behind The Eyes" study by Lisa Whittle. I read the book this summer and it was the first and only non-fiction book of that type I have ever read word for word.

I am Mrs. Confidence.

I wear a mask all the time. I will get brave and take one off only to find like evil villains in old Saturday Morning Shows as a kid that another one is there.

But God is now removing them. I am being more real with people than I ever have in my life. I am amazed at how real I have been with you here in bloggyland. I once thought it was because I'm not really facing you. I may never meet you face to face. And if I did then well, you would already know me and have made your decision to like me or not. But the more I have searched my heart and what God is doing I don't think that is the real reason. I believe that God is teaching me through you to be vulnerable and to trust.

So here's the deal, I will continue and promise (Ask Zoie I never promise) to be real with you. I will trust you. I will pray for you and be a friend you can come visit with here. I only ask one thing in return. Pray for me.

All that being said, please continue praying for my Aunt Lily and her family. She is still hanging on right at death's door for almost a week now. It is hard on her family. Thank you for your encouraging comments and prayers for Zoie as she prepares to sing at the funeral. Mike too. His style of music is more on the contemporary side, while he is being requested to sing an old Southern Gospel song. He is doing a great job. I told him to reach down inside of himself and find that inner country singer. He is 6'3 and I think he had to reach all the way down to his little toe, but he sounds great! Want to know a secret....I think he kind of likes it too...shhhh don't tell him I said that!

Continue to pray for my health. I am going back to the doctor on Monday regarding some female issues I am having. I am still having some back pain and it looks like I might have to give in and have that third shot after all....yuck! Also I have been having headaches. Powerful headaches on one side of my head. They only last for a few seconds but then come back again. So any of you out there with medical knowledge know what that might be let me know.

Lastly I want to to pray for me as I seek God about where we are going to be serving Him as a family. We have finished the intensive application for church planting and are now waiting/hoping to have an interview soon. Pray that God will make our way clear. I am so impatiant. I am a planner when it comes to my future. But I fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to the day to day.

Please pray for us. I will keep trying to be real and share with you what I feel about God each week. I do love you.

Pamela

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Two Church Tales and A View

Today I'm going to tell you two stories. I'm going to let God speak to your heart about each story.

Please let me know your views.

Many years ago I worked and lived in Louisville, Ky while attending seminary there. I worked in two very different churches helping out with their Special Needs ministries.

Church #1 was a large church, a mega-church. While there, we were fortunate enough to be one of two churches chosen to be visited by President Bush #1 (Current one's father). He was campaigning in our city and wanted to attend church. Because of the way security is around Presidents no one knew for sure which one he would attend. I lived in one of the church owned houses on the property and was amazed at how everything catered to the safety of the President's arrival including traffic on the roads close to the church.
Because, no church alive has ever been able to keep secrets it was known all over town the morning before, that President Bush may attend our church. Even though only the Pastor knew for sure the next morning, the church was packed out with people wanting a glimpse of the President. Secret Service men were at every door. A section of the sanctuary was reserved and marked off for the President and his party. Everyone was a little on edge and excitement sizzled through the air. I sat on the other side of the sanctuary from where President Bush sat. Partly because that is where us singles always sat, and partly because I was disturbed a little by all the pomp and circumstance. But I too couldn't help but sneak a glance over in that direction, just to see if I could see him too. Our pastor did a fine job and the choir sang extra good too. Everything went really well. The service was the talk of the staff meeting the next day. We all grinned when our pastor handed out copies of the visitor's slip he had signed for the church. I immediately stuck mine in my Bible. It is still in that same Bible today. But a question kept nagging at me and even as I relate this story today it still haunts me. Why all the fuss for the President of the United States, when we have the King of Kings here every Sunday?

The other church I was only at a short while, helping them get their ministry started. This church was what some would classify as a high church. It is formal and ritualistic in its worship style. In this church women did not wear pants. The hymns were old and extremely traditional.
No Southern Gospel or Contemporary music was sung here. In fact I don't ever remember any music that wasn't provided by an organ or piano.
Worship there was very quiet and serene.

It was Palm Sunday. I sat in the row behind my group of Special Adults who were from a nearby institution. Another lady in the church had begun bringing them and a ministry had been born. I have to admit I was daydreaming as the preacher was getting to the death of Jesus on the cross. I grew up in a little more lively a service.
That's when it happened. One of the special needs ladies in front of me stood up grabbed her head and screamed, "OH NO! They've killed my Jesus!" The realization of the cross had hit her for the first time. Quickly I and the lady who brought her sat her down and began consoling her. If we had thought it was quiet before...I don't think anybody but us was even breathing! The pastor after a few shocked minutes gathered himself and added (Probably for one of the only times in his life) an adlib to his message. "Well, we know that next Sunday we will celebrate Jesus coming back to life." The lady calmed down and everything resumed, but not as normal. I was trying not to giggle. Oh how I wanted to laugh out loud! I wanted to ask everyone that morning a question. I didn't. It wouldn't have been proper at the time. And to tell you the truth I'm not sure I would have liked their answers. So I'll ask you:

Who preached the message that morning?

Let me know what you think about my two churches and a view!

Oh, one more thing. My great Aunt Lily is on her death bed. It is just a matter of moments now. Zoie has been asked to sing at her funeral. So has my husband. Please pray for them neither has ever sung at funerals before. Zoie loves Aunt Lily and wants to do it. Pray God will give her His strength. Please don't tell me you think I'm doing the wrong thing(even if you think I am) for letting her do it. We have prayed a lot about this and I believe it is what the Lord wants. We are acting on faith.

Thank you!
I love you all deeply!
Pamela

Monday, October 6, 2008

Holy Fear or Comforting Friend?

Hi again friends,

I have a question for you? Do you see God through the eyes of Holy fear or as a comforting Friend?

This is something I have been pondering a lot the last few weeks. It started as I was working on the Special needs Bible Study curriculum. I was trying to locate a verse, but was not at home where my computer or our mounds of reference books are located. All I had was a little pocket style Bible with a small concordance at the end. Of Course, I could not locate the verse I wanted easily so I had to thumb through the book. I knew it was in Joshua. As I skimmed through, reading a little bit of each passage, I became intrigued with one of the stories. Two words leaped off the page and attached themselves to both my brain and my spirit.

"Consecrate yourselves."

In context the children of Israel were about to cross the Jordan into the promised land. God told them to "Consecrate themselves" for He was going to do a mighty work among them.

These words so grabbed me, that I thought about them almost nonstop the whole next two days.

What did it mean to consecrate yourself?
Why did they need to consecrate themselves?
Do I need to consecrate myself?
Am I not consecrated through the blood of Jesus?

As I have meditated, prayed, searched other scriptures and listened closely to what is going on in the world today, I have come to believe that I often do not see God as Holy.
I know in my head that He is holy, but often I do not treat Him or think of Him as Holy. I think of Him as my friend, as my Daddy. Now, please don't hear I think that's wrong. Jesus told us that God was our Daddy. But I do believe that most of us have it too one sided. We see God as our cuddly daddy not the High Mighty King that He is.

He is Holy! White Hot Holy! So Holy that we can not even today look at His face. So pure and Holy that the sun looks dim compared to the whiteness of the glow that surrounds Him.
So holy that sin sizzles and can not even be looked upon by Him.

Do you or I recognize this in our daily lives? I am not talking about sitting around in sack cloths and ashes, or fasting. I'm talking about our complacency. Maybe, I sometimes think of God as too much of my buddy instead of my God.

You may not have this problem or even believe that we need to see God as Holy today. I do believe that I am made righteous before God through the blood of Jesus. It is nothing I can do on my own. However, If my body is truly the temple of God....?

Should I not examine more closely what I see? (TV, movies) What I hear? (music choices, course talk, gossip) What I do? Where I go? I mean, if I am taking God or His Spirit every where I am and making Him do everything I do....well shouldn't I be more selective?

1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." NIV

There are many times when I need to crawl up into My Father's lap and cuddle there. There are times when I need to sit beside Him and laugh together at the world. There are times when I need to run to Him and dance with Him. There are times when I need His pat on the back or a spiritual hug.

But there are also times...when I need to understand WHO HE IS and bow before Him as my God...The Holy One.

Pray for me as I learn what it means to consecrate myself.

I love you all so much!
Pamela

Friday, October 3, 2008

What Do You Really Believe About Jesus?

What do you really believe about Jesus?

I was reading this morning in Luke 9 where Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do the crowds say I am?" After giving several answers all to Him being a prophet of God, Jesus then asks them, "Who do you think I am?" Peter answered, "The Christ of God."

As I pondered this passage, I noticed something. Before Jesus asked this question He had been alone praying. (vs 18a) Jesus knew He was going to ask this question even before the disciples joined Him.

This made me ponder the importance of the question further than I have previously. I have read this question several times and have even put myself in the disciples place. After all they had seen up to that point, how could they not all believe He was the Christ!

Again I asked, why was this question so important that it came after an alone time of prayer with God? Because we should be asking it today!

I had to ask myself, "What do I really believe about Jesus?"

I believe He is God's Son. So why am I not telling more people?

I believe He is my Savior. Do I act like He has saved me from sin or do I still hang on and roll around in it?

I believe that one day He is coming back for His people. If I really believe that then why am I so focused on the worries of this world?

I believe that through faith in Jesus I am His Bride. So why do I act like an old sitcom housewife and not spend time with Him or complain about my life?

Ladies, this world does not believe that Jesus is who Peter said He was, or even what the crowds believed about Him. Most of the world does not even believe He was a prophet. Some do not believe that He is real. And some, having no fear, even call Him imaginary and mock Him. Doesn't this either break your heart or make you angry?

It is time for this question again.

What do you really believe about Jesus?
Then lets live like we do!

Love Pamela

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stinky Dogs But A Good God!

Hey there!

I am sitting here today at my computer doing some work. I should be laid up on the couch or the bed, but I'm not I'm sitting at the computer.

Yesterday I was to have my last round of back shots. They are painful and the next day I am usually in pretty bad shape...Not today!

Because I had not had any pain in the last three days the doctor canceled my shots!
My husband was praying that would happen. He even asked me before I went if I was going to ask the doctor if I needed that last round. I didn't ask the doctor..he asked me about my pain...then he asked me if I needed the other shots! I started laughing. I told him that was a hard question to answer. He then did an examination and determined that I was pain free!
He did stipulate that if at any time I started hurting again I could have that third shot.

I wont need it!

God answered my husband's prayers! Mine Too!

About the stinky dogs...we have a beautiful black mutt named KeeKee Bear. We are dog sitting my parents dog a white and tan shiatsu (?) while they are gone on a senior adult convention. I just let them in from outside and they both are snuggled at my feet. Boy howdy! They stink! Like to took my breath away! But I can't turn them away, when they want to sit at my feet and just be near me.

I wonder if I sometimes stink to Jesus. I'm sure that my sins don't smell to good. I wonder if I stink just by being around others who are sin stinking? All I know is that Because I belong to Jesus His blood has made me clean...I can sit at His feet and just be near Him. Better yet I think I'll close so I can crawl up in His lap right now.

See ya later,
Love Pamela

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tagged Again!

Hey Y'all,

Lynn over at http://lynpolksblog@blogspot.com has tagged me. Yay! I like playing tag! Go visit Lynn. She has a heart for God and I love visiting her. She is real. She is also real funny. I read her and I see myself. But most of all she loves Jesus!

So here are seven new random things about me:

1) I like to cook. I like making up recipes too. Which makes my husband sad. Not because he don't like my cooking but because he knows I probably wont remember how to make it again!

2) I once was called up on stage by a country singer named Tom T. Hall. For those of you old enough to remember he wrote and sang the song "I Love..." I was nine years old and he called me up at the end of his concert and gave me the harmonica he had been playing all night. A moment I will never forget!

3) I can speak in front of any size crowd...no fear. However if you ask me to sing...My throat closes in fear and only small squeaks come out! Weird huh?

4) I come from a big extended family. I am # 20 of 22 grandchildren. By the time I was in high school there were over 80 of us that gathered at my granny's for Christmas.

5) I love Christmas! It is my favorite time of year! Oh...don't tell anyone but I still believe in Santa's Cause. Go back and read that again...did you catch it?

6) Plants can not survive around me. I have killed (N0, not on purpose) every plant that I have ever tried to grow, including one of those cactus that are attached to a shell. You just set them in your bathroom and they grow. You don't have to feed them or water them. Mine lived only 2 months. :(

7) I am deathly afraid of chickens! Live ones! I'll eat them! But I can not get close to them if they are alive. I was attacked by a large rooster when I was a young teen and the thing cut me up pretty bad before my mom knocked it off of me with a mop. My dad put it up in a tiny pin to let it fatten up and I got to decide how it should be cooked....can you say chicken salad?

So who am I tagging?

You!

Please play. There are just too many of you I want to list.

I love you guys!
Pamela