Friday, January 28, 2011

my trust and my hope is in Him

I was blessed with fabulous parents. They always wanted the best for me. They always supported and encouraged me even when they didn't necessarily agree with my choices. I always felt loved. I don't ever remember a time that I didn't feel safe and secure. Even after my dad was swept out of this life and into eternity with Christ, my mom has been my greatest supporter. I am sure of her love for me.

After my dad died, there was such a void in my life where my father played such an important role. And even though nobody could ever fill that place that solely belong to my daddy, I have been so blessed with a wonderful father-in-law that comes a mighty close second in that area. He has been there for me in the last 16 1/2 years and filled that void as best he could. As good as anyone can fill an unfillable void...

He has been sensitive to the pain I feel each Father's day. He remembers when my dad's birthday is around the corner and always try to let me know he remembers. And that he cares. He has been such a rock for me and I love him for loving me that much.

Papaw has been the true patriarch of the Herring family. Everyone loves him. Everyone depends upon him and his knowledge. He holds the family together. Even after he retired from preaching several years ago, he is still a much sought after Pastor and still fills the pulpit with grace and truth.

(Jimmie and Lucille Herring)

At this very moment, my husband is in Houston with his dad, awaiting the beginning of a series of appointments at M.D. Anderson starting this afternoon. On Monday, he will meet with the doctor to determine the course of action that will be taken.

About 10 years ago, my father-in-law was diagnosed with lymphoma. That came on the heels of a heart attack that came very close to taking his life. But God raised him up and he beat the odds. He had to take a very strong chemotherapy for his cancer that proceeded to shut down his kidneys and was almost too much for his body to handle. They had to begin radiation instead and after his treatments were over, Papaw had beaten cancer with the healing Hand of our Savior leading the way. He has remained cancer free until now.

After some routine blood work showed some elevated levels in his liver, they began keeping an eye on it. His levels kept rising and he began to show signs of jaundice, so they decided it was time to go a little further with their testing. After an ultrasound and CAT scan, it appeared that a gallstone was blocking the bile duct and causing the problems with his liver. On Monday, my husband took him to the surgical clinic where they were going to remove the stone through an endoscopic procedure. Only it turns out it wasn't a gallstone. It was a mass on both sides of the duct. A malignant mass. And it looked like it was also extending into the pancreas. Not a good thing.

So now he is at M.D. Anderson again. Waiting. In the meantime, we are putting our trust in our Lord.  I get my solace and my peace in the Word of God. Only there can I find the comfort and assurance I need to get me through trials. Only there can I find the sweet embrace of a loving God.

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is." (Jeremiah 17:7)

He is my hope. He is my only hope. He is my refuge and my fortress. My deliverer. My peace.

For now, my father-in-law is in the hands of God. He has ordained this from the very beginning and He knows exactly what will take place. It is up to us to allow Him to do His work the way He knows best. We are praying for healing if it be the Lord's will. We are praying that God be glorified in whatever the outcome is. I love my father-in-law with all my heart. He has been part of my life for more than 26 years now. But he belongs to God and his life is in His hands. And that is where our trust and our hope reside.

For now, I am holding on to the verse God gave me when Melissa was in the hospital with Malaria. It spoke volumes then and I am praying that it speaks mightily to my heart now.

"For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds..." (Jeremiah 30:17)

Seeking Him,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

a thankful heart

It's such a joy to be thankful. We can choose to focus on the negative or we can choose to focus on all the wonderful things that God does for us daily. You can join GREG with your own thankful post.

I am thankful for the wonder of God's WORD. I love how God speaks through His written WORD deep into my heart. I love how He gives me a word that ministers to my spirit and then I find it time after time in the scriptures and each time it just speaks volumes. 'Seek' is one such word. I love everything about the word. I love that it means to search out and to diligently be looking for something. I am seeking a deeper and a more intimate relationship with Him. I am so thankful for the wonder of God's WORD.

"The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him" (Lamentations 3:25)


I am thankful for the opportunity to see this:

So I can be appreciative and thankful for this:

Lord, may I never take for granted the home you provide for us and the modern conveniences that many people don't have. Thank you for your daily provision in my life.


I am thankful for good health. We just don't know understand how blessed we are until we see others hurting. Our health is something that we forget to be thankful for until a health crisis arises.

Thank you, Lord , for the good health you have bestowed upon me and my family. May we be ever so grateful for the blessing of health.


I am thankful for our church. Too many times we focus on the outward beauty of our church houses and don't focus enough on the beautiful spirit that needs to be on the inside. Our church that looks like this:

is no more filled with the Spirit of God than a church that looks like this:

In fact, the people that worship here aren't bogged down by programs and budgets. They are free to worship the Lord with all that they have and all that they are. They worship unhindered.

Oh, Lord, help us to be free in our worship and realize that it's not about a pretty building. It's not about the people. It's not about the music. It's not about anything but You. May we worship you in spirit and in truth. Always.

"God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24)


I am thankful for life. God has blessed me with 48 years of abundant life. He blessed me with the miracle of healing when I was 10 and He has kept His hand upon me since that day. I am so grateful for His mercy and grace. I am humbled by His bountiful blessings.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life. May I never take a day of my life for granted. Help me to see You in each minute of my days here on earth. May my heart be filled with the wonder of you. May I see your manifest presence everywhere I look. Oh, my sweet Lord, show me your glory!

"Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens" (Lamentations 3:41)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

He gives and takes away.

".... the LORD gave, and
the LORD hath
taken away; blessed be
the name of the LORD"
(Job 1:21b)


There are lots of good things about living in a small town. One of them is that when something happens in the small town, it doesn't take long before everyone knows about it. That is a wonderful thing when someone has a need. When someone is hurting and needs comfort. When there is an illness and somebody needs prayer.

Our small town is reeling tonight with the loss of precious baby. Just 2 days ago, a young couple that I know were on their way home from the family's deer camp with their boys, ages 16 months and 4 months. The 4 month old baby was a little fussy and had a runny nose and when they got home they put him in the bed for a nap. His mother checked on him a little while later and he was purple and struggling to breathe. They rushed him to the hospital and after a very hard few hours there (he coded several times), he was airlifted to Children's Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. The diagnosis? Swine flu and possible meningitis.

He was experiencing swelling of his little brain and he was on life support. The doctors did not give the family much hope. The EEG was showing little or no brain activity. The family still clung to the hope that we have in our Lord. Sometime this afternoon, the little baby suffered a stroke. The doctors determined that there was no brain activity at all and sometime around 6 PM, that precious baby was swept into the arms of Jesus.

Tonight, this young couple - ages 22 and 23 - had to travel back home without their newest little baby. Their family of 4 is suddenly back to a family of 3. They had to make their way back to their home to begin a new chapter of their life that they never imagined would be written. It is tragic. It has rocked the lives of my daughters, as they knew this couple and can't even begin to comprehend what they are going through. As young mothers themselves, it is a nightmare for them to realize how quickly little baby Kannon got sick and died.

I ask that you please pray for this family. Pray that God's divine purpose prevails in this situation. Pray that the family will turn to God and that He will be revealed to them in a powerful way. Pray comfort and peace upon them.

If that wasn't enough, we found out that another young couple that my daughters and their husbands are friends with, are in the hospital with their 2 month old daughter. She has meningitis as well. The dad said that the doctors said they caught it early and she will be in the hospital for 10 days, but that she will be okay. Please pray for her as well. The little girls name is Emery.

For something like this to happen in such a small town is scary. We're talking real small. Like 2500 people small... Please lift up these families to our Lord.

Our only hope is in God. He is the one who gives life and He is the only one who has the power to take it away. Even when we can't see His purpose, we know that He has one. And we trust that it is all for the glory of Him. Our hope is in Him.

Friday, January 21, 2011

i don't know what happened...

A few months ago, Mercie was the first child awake at my daughter's house and was in the living room with her mother playing quietly. Megan heard Silas waking up in his room and went to get him out of bed and change his diaper. She said a few minutes later she walked back into the living room and there sat Mercie on the rug. She was surrounded by a puddle of water, had an empty bottle beside her and the lid in her hand. Megan stood there and looked at her and Mercie looked up and said in a sweet voice, "I don't know what happened."

Well, of course Mercie knew what had happened, but she did what we as Christians sometimes do. Deny the truth. The Lord spoke to me through this and reminded me of my own lame excuses that I sometimes offer up to God.

Do we find ourselves sitting in a puddle at times and say to God, "I don't know what happened."? Have we ever gotten into a mess of our own doing but looked up to our Lord and proclaimed that we didn't know how we got there?

Truth of the matter is we can sometimes slide down that slippery slope so fast that we may be surprised where we landed, but in reality we know just what happened. We know just how we wound up sitting in that puddle.

Sin happened. Disobedience happened.

Talkin' the talk and not walkin' the walk happened.

The road to destruction is broad.

"Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)

It's easy to walk that wide road of complacency and sin. We just keep walking and following the crowd - busy in our own little worlds and then one day we look up and realize we aren't where we intended to go.

The narrow way - the one that leadeth unto life - is hard to find. It takes a far different path and we have to purposefully follow it. It may not be easy and it may not always be the road we desire to be on, but when we align ourselves with the Word of God and surrender to His will for our life, we don't walk alone.

God walks that path with us. He gently leads and guides us down paths of righteousness. He lifts us up and carries us over troubled waters. He makes a way for us in the valley and over the mountains. He is always there.

If we adhere to the Word of God and we are obedient to His commands, we are less likely to find ourselves sitting in a puddle unaware of how we got there.

Let's stay in step with our Lord and allow Him to show us the way. Keeping our focus on Him. Keeping our eyes on the path He is making for us. Watching out for the puddles that threaten to pull us in. If we keep holding His hand and walking by His side, our response to "I don't know what happened" will be replaced by "God happened".

"Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me; for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day" (Psalm 25:4-5)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

begin a new work in me...


I think that one of the things I love most about walking with God is that He is continually teaching me. He is continually growing me up spiritually. There is always more knowledge to glean. More of Him to discover. More of His power to tap into. More of me to decrease.

I read a quote by Oswald Chambers that said, "Begin to know Him now, and finish never."  That spoke so loudly to my heart that I wrote it on an index card and carry it in my bible.

We can never be so learned in the things of God that we know all there is to know. There will always be something more that He longs to show us. There will always be new things that He desires to reveal to us. But we have to be open and receptive to His timing and His will.

In our passionate pursuit of Him, we have to yield to our Father. That's not always an easy thing to do. I can be impatient in my quest for desiring more of His Presence in my life. I want things now and sometimes God has things for me to learn before He is ready to take me to the next level of my walk. There may be things in my spiritual life that need to be refined before God can entrust me with more.

He has shown me this past month that I need to be more focused on satisfying Him. Too many times I realize I am trying to satisfy my flesh when I need to be crucifying it instead. My goal needs to be bringing my Savior glory. Is He the one that I am pleasing? Is He the one that my words honor?

"I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do" (John 17:4)

Just as Jesus knew that His life had to bring glory to the Father, I know that God deserves and expects the same out of my life.

I learned this past month that I need to allow God to continue to mold me and change me into what He desires for me to be. I need to be seeking more desperately to reach my full potential in Him. I need to read the Word more passionately. Study the scriptures more intently. Embrace my prayer life more greedily.

I want more. I need more.

"And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2)

I've learned that there is no place we can go and be hidden from God. He is always there. He is there in the good times and the bad times. He is there in our praises and in our despair. He is in our weakness and our strength. God is always right there, ready to reach down and minister to our hearts and our needs.

"Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 23:24)

And what is God showing me now? Nobody is beyond the reach of God's infinite grace. Oh, praise You, Jesus, for this.  I am so thankful that we are all within grasping distance of God's mighty Hands. We are never too far out of His reach. He is always there, ready to rescue. Ready to receive. Ready to restore. When He hears our humble cry of confession, repentance or surrender, He is there.

"And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return unto me with their whole heart" (Jeremiah 24:7)

I seek to go to a higher place with my Lord. I desire to walk more intimately with my Savior. I want a heart that yearns deeply for the things of Christ. I want to bring Him glory in all that I do, to be focused on satisfying Him and Him only.

I am ready for Him to begin a new work in me. I'm willing to do whatever it takes, go wherever he leads and follow Him all the days of my life.

Seeking Him with a new passion,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I lost a few more pieces of my heart...

(our team )

Oh, wow. What a week we had! It's hard to believe that this time last week we were in La Union, Nicaragua having a wonderful time with the precious people in that village. It was good to see familiar faces from my trip 3 years ago. Faces that are forever etched in my mind and in my heart as I grew to love them even more.

La Union is a small village in a remote area of Nicaragua. After we landed in Managua, we rented a van and drove over 4 hours to the city of Nueva Guinea where we stayed each night in a motel. Each morning, we had a 90 minute drive to the village. It was only about 30 miles, but the road is so terrible and the mountain terrain so rough that it takes a long time to get there. The rain just makes it that much harder. Last time we went, we didn't rent a van and had to catch a cargo truck each day and it took even longer to get there. So this was so much better even though it doesn't seem that way.

As we were preparing to land in Managua, you can see the active volcano to the right. I actually looked out the window long enough to take a picture.

Inside the motel

(Our bed - the only thing in the room besides a small table.)

My heart is so full with the blessings that I received from the people there. They welcomed us back with open arms, big smiles and lots of hugs. The intense love that we have for them just grows each year.  As much as our goal is to serve them and minister to them, they were determined to do for us in return. We know it was a sacrifice for them to feed us 2 meals a day. Despite our protests, they blessed us with food. Rice, beans, tortillas and yucca were the menu for most meals. We also got fried plantain and some other things I can't pronounce. We did get to eat chicken twice and it was delicious.

There were four women on this trip and our mission was to have bible school each day for the children. There are about 20 children in the church, so the pastor said to expect 30. So I planned for 50.

I love it when God shows up in ways that we can't imagine. I love it when in our own inadequacies we think the impossible and God shows us His power. When we arrived at the church that Monday morning we had about 20 kids there waiting. We got started with the prayer and when we opened our eyes, there were about 100 children in the church. No kidding! We just kinda looked at each other in unbelief. I was thinking, "Okay, Lord, now what?" The kids just kept pouring in and I just laughed and said, "Praise you, Lord!" By the time we finished, we had 175 children for bible school that day.

Our old plans were scrapped and new plans were made. We began letting God move us in another direction. How do you teach 175 kids with material for 50? You let God take over. God is faithful and He equips us and He just does it! It was amazing and we had no less than 140 kids each day. We had almost 200 the last day and were even able to give them each a toy as they left. It was such a blessing to be able to minister to all those children and at least plant a seed in each of their hearts.

We went from this....

to this in a matter of about 15 minutes!

When I left there on Saturday, I left more pieces of my heart behind.

A 9-year old boy named Ishmael, has a huge chunk of it. When we arrived, he was quiet, sullen and withdrawn. He was shunned by the other children. He has no daddy and a mother who is mentally ill. His grandmother is very old and near death. His clothes were all torn and tattered. We purchase 2 new outfits and a pair of shoes for him. He was so excited to get them and his whole countenance changed! By the time we left, the other children were playing with him and he was smiling and laughing.  God is so good!

(Ishmael and his new clothes)

I left a piece of my heart with a little boy named Adair. He was 12 years old and still looked like he did 3 years ago. He is very small for his age and when we got there he was so mean to all the other kids. We loved on him all week. He hung out at the church all day with us and with Melissa's help with Spanish, we impressed upon him the love of Jesus and the need to love others and by the time we left, he was loving on everybody. He is so precious.

A 15-year old girl named Bilda has another chunk. She is such a precious young girl with a heart to serve. She helped us tremendously in bible school. She was always cleaning the church and helping the women cook. She is a very special young girl with a heart for God. 

Every child I met, every woman and man I came in contact with, have a piece of my heart. I love the people of La Union. It was hard to leave. Our last nights service was filled with tears. Tears of joy at what God accomplished. Tears of sorrow at parting with good friends. Tears shed by all of us and by so many of them. It was so emotional and so hard. I miss them already.

I am thankful that God allowed me to go back there. I am thankful that I got to minister with my husband and my daughter this time. God did a work in my heart. He revealed some things that needed to be revealed. He is honing some things that need some refinement. He is working in a powerful way in my life and I thank Him for that.

And next January? I will go back and leave just a few more pieces of my heart there....

Continuing to seek Him,

Friday, January 7, 2011

going back to Nicaragua - praise you Lord!

A little over 3 years ago, I left part of my heart in Nicaragua. It was my very first mission trip. It was my very first plane ride. It was both amazing and terrifying. God was good though, as He always is, and He showed up in ways that I never imagined possible. He was there every step of the way. In every little village we went too. In each area of our ministry. In each worship service. God was there.

There was one special village that we visited during that trip. A village poor in resources but very rich in love. I fell head over heels in love with the precious people of La Union.  We all did. Our hearts were so full while we ministered there. And in turn, we were ministered to by them in such a powerful way. They touched our hearts in ways unimaginable.

 The little children had nothing. Yet, they had everything.  Nothing monetarily but everything spiritually. Their little hearts were so full of joy. They bubbled over with laughter and excitement and we had the best time with them. We couldn't speak their language in words, but we spoke their language in hugs, smiles and emotion. It was amazing. And when we left there, I left a piece of my heart.

At 6 am Saturday, I will board a plane headed back to Nicaragua. Along with my husband, my daughter, Melissa, and 2 other church members.  We will make our way back to the same village. Back to the same people. Back to find that piece of my heart.

We are going back to dedicate the little church that we helped build in that small, remote village. We will be doing bible school with the children during the afternoons and ministering to the people during the mornings. And then each evening we worship. Oh, man do we worship. We have some awesome worship services. Overwhelming. Astounding. God shows up in such a manifestation of Spirit, that it is unbelievable. I can't wait.

I look forward to telling you all about it when we return on the 15th.  I don't think we will have any internet service. In the meantime, be in prayer for our team. Pray for our safety and our health. Pray for me as I do the one thing that terrifies me most - fly in an airplane.  Pray for God to do a mighty work and pray that we will be obedient to His leading.

Yo te busco con fuego en mi corazon - (I am searching with fire in my heart!)


I'm gonna miss these babies!!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

just one touch...

"For she said, If I may touch
but His clothes, I shall
be whole"
(Mark 5:28)

One touch.

Just one touch from His hand. And I will be made whole.

Whole in spirit.
Whole in heart.
Whole in Him.

On my knees, I reach for the hem of His garment.

Desperately seeking.

Stretching forth my arm, I reach out with all
that I have. He is just within my grasp.
Falling on my face, I feel my fingertips graze
the edge of His robe.

Just one touch.

I feel the power of the Almighty course through my body.

Power that only comes from Him.
Power that knows no limits.

It is released in my being and beginning a new work.

A work of healing.

A work of new direction.
New focus.
New commitment.

Just one touch and now I worship.
On my face, I give praise to the One who is so worthy.

Desperately seeking.
Yearning for more.


Thank you, sweet Lord, for the power that comes from just one touch. I love you and I worship you for who you are. You are my all in all.

Seeking More,

Saturday, January 1, 2011

new mercies, motherhood, new grandchild...

"It is of the LORD's mercies that
we are not consumed, because his
compassions fail not. They are new
 every morning; great is thy faithfulness"
(Lamentations 3:22-23)

I love the fresh start of a new year. I awoke this morning really feeling the immediate awareness of some new mercies today. New mercies that I so desperately need. New mercies that I certainly don't deserve. But nonetheless, new mercies that a gracious and loving God has generously bestowed upon me. For that I am thankful.

I love being a mom. I was blessed with 3 pretty amazing daughters. They are now 25, 24 and 21 years old and I love them. I have been blessed to be loved by them as well. I haven't been a perfect mother. I have made mistakes along the way, but they still love me and are always quick to champion me and assure me of my fabulous motherhood skills. Even though they are grown and 2 of them have families of their own, I still mother them when they don't really need it (or they don't think they do..), and they love me through it.

Ashlie and the boys spent the day over here and left at bedtime. They got home to a power outage in the country and were lighting candles until the lights came back on. Of course, I had to remind her not to go to bed with candles burning...  She was sweet about the mothering advice and assured me she knew better than that. I had to laugh a little while ago when I got a text from her. "lights back on. candles are all out.. :)" She knows me well and knew I wouldn't rest until I knew no candles were burning.. I love my girls, they love me and for that I am thankful.

I love being a Nana. Eight years ago, I was just getting the hang of the grandmother thing and was enjoying it with all my heart. I never dreamed that over the next 7 1/2 years, my 2 girls would add 5 more grandchildren to the equation giving me 6 of those precious babies. I had grandchildren born in 2002, 2005, 2007,2008,2009 and 2010.  Nothing on earth brings me greater joy than those precious grandyoungin's. I love them all with a fierce love that I could never have imagined possible. Each one was brought into the world with this blessed Nana witnessing each miraculous moment of each birth. There is nothing like it. 2011 won't be any different. Sometime in August, my youngest daughter, Ashlie, will bring her 3rd baby into this world. And I will welcome my 7th grandchild into my arms with great delight. For that I am thankful.

God is so good. He has blessed me immeasurably. He has given me grace in abundance.  I pray that in the coming year, I continue to seek Him more and know Him like never before. I desire to be found faithful. I desire to bring Him honor and glory. I want to be like Him.

Begin to know Him now,
and finish never......
(Oswald Chambers)

Happy New Year!