Tuesday, June 28, 2011

things that i love

Things that I love:

**I love it when God opens my eyes and reveals TRUTH to my SEEKING spirit.

**I love it when God widens my understanding of scripture and speaks a much needed WORD to my thirsty soul.

** I love it when all 3 of my girls call at the same time and we have to keep swapping back and forth to talk to each other. So much fun!

** I love it when Bryton and Sawyer get to come to Nana's house and play in the water and paint beautiful pictures for me and Papa.

** I love it when my God overwhelms me with His sweet Presence. There is nothing quite as amazing as the feeling that comes when God's spirit settles down upon you.

** I love it when God gives you tangible proof that you can't out give Him by blessing you 6 times over! He is so good and His abundant love for me blows me away. Oh, He is so good!

** I love it when God gives you a glimpse into the human body and shows you His miraculous power in a tiny  baby girl still in the womb. The amazing miracle of life never fails to totally astound me every time I experience this.

She sucked her thumb almost the entire ultrasound. We also got a big smile out of her. I love her already. What a blessed Nana I am.

** I love it when God speaks.

** I love it when the Holy Spirit moves in our midst.

** I love it when God lays something on your heart and you act out of love and obedience to Him, and then He just lavishes His love upon you in return. Just because He loves us so much. We serve a good God.

**I love it when my grandchildren in Pennsylvania call me on the phone and I get to hear their precious voices. 

** I love it when God works out the details so my husband and I can take a trip to Boston to see Melissa and deliver all her 'worldly goods' to her and as an added bonus, we get to 'swing' by Pennsylvania on the way home to see our oldest daughter and her precious family! Thank you Lord!!

** I love hugs from sweet boys.


** I love this t-shirt!

** I love Jesus with all my heart and all my soul. I am so thankful that He loved me enough to die on the cross in my place, that I might have forgiveness of my many sins, redemption through His blood and eternal life with Him in glory! May I honor Him in all that I say and do and may I never fail to spread the gospel to those who need to hear the TRUTH.
Please be in prayer for us as we leave in the morning headed to Boston. I won't have Internet service until the evening, so I won't be visiting blogs much, but I will be thinking of each and every one of you! Thank you for your prayers!

Friday, June 24, 2011

grace during tragedy

Our little town suffered a major blow Wednesday night. We had just finished our prayer services and about 12 of us were still in the parking lot visiting when we got a call that a church van belonging to one of  our sister churches in our area had just been in a terrible accident. And that there were fatalities. The church van had just left their church loaded with 9 children and 2 adults after their Wednesday night services to take them home. The van left the road on the drivers side, hit a concrete culvert and flipped around causing extreme damage to the van and the passengers.  

We immediately headed to the site to be available for our friend and his wife who pastor that church and for the families of those involved. I have never seen anything so surreal in all my life. There were more red and blue lights flashing than I thought existed. There were ambulances and police cars and helicopters overhead and the sounds were almost unbearable. My heart was just torn in two for those involved and I was almost paralyzed with fear for what was to come. My first reaction was to call my mom to get her to pray. She was just leaving her church in Shreveport and there were still some people around so they immediately stopped to pray for all involved.

As I began to see the funeral home cars arrive, all I could do was cry out to God to send His sweet Spirit of comfort and peace. At times when there are no thoughts to be formed, God in His Sovereignty knows. Our precious Jesus intercedes for us and the Holy Spirit gives us utterance. We serve an awesome God.

We lost 5 precious people in the van accident. But praise God, all of them had personal relationships with the Lord. Even the little 4 year old girl did because she was secure in His Grace. There are 6 children and teenagers still in the hospital. Most have suffered many broken bones and have had surgery and still have more surgery to come. One young man has suffered brain trauma and needs our prayers desperately. Please lift up all these families to the Lord. 

I love our little town. I have never experienced the outpouring of love from so many people as I have from the   folks that make up our small community. People loving people. People loving God. People willing to sacrifice of their own for others. 

As we had children in 3 different hospitals in 3 different cities and even 1 different state, my husband and a few other pastors stepped in to help relieve the burden from the pastor of the church. We had a chance to minister to several different families and God just showed up in those visits and gave us the opportunity to share Him in a powerful way. He is so good.

As our town is still in shock over this tragedy, continue to pray that we will give God the praise for His goodness. Pray that we won't lose sight of our purpose here on earth. He is still faithful. His purpose is still Sovereign and Good. He is still on the Throne.  He is still God.

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through
Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present,
nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other
creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"
(Romans 8:37-39)

Even in the face of tragedy God has a plan. He has been gracious to those in need and has enabled His love to be shown to those that needed a glimpse of who He is. May He continue to wrap those families up in His loving embrace and dispense His mercy and grace to their spirits. May He lavish His love on each person that they feel an unspeakable peace and presence of Him in their hearts. 

Pray for those in the hospital: 
Kierra Wilcher
Olivia Oneal
Dalton Williams
Samantha Thornton
Jake Thornton
Aaron Copes

Pray for families of those who lost their lives:
Emma Adams (4)
Brittany Thornton (12)
Kaitlyn Thornton (19)
Portia Thornton (53) 
Joey McKann (30)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

oh, how i miss them...

"My flesh and my heart faileth;
but God is the strength of my heart,
and my portion forever"
(Psalm 73:26)

Both of my sons-in-law are pipeliners. We have been so blessed that they have both had jobs close to home for the past year and half or so. Their jobs in Louisiana ended last week and yesterday morning my oldest daughter and her husband left for Pennsylvania for a pipeline job that should last about 6 months. This past week has been a week of trying to spend as much time with my daughter and sweet grandbabies that I could. I miss those sweet faces already, but am so blessed by the many memories that we all share of our time together.

Eli, Mikaela and Mercie spent lots of time with me and papa the last few weeks. (Silas can't spend too much time away from his mama..) I am so blessed with precious children and grandchildren. I stand amazed daily at the goodness and mercy and grace of my sweet Savior.

They spent time swimming with their sweet cousins Bryton and Sawyer

They explored in the 'woods' behind our house.
They drew with chalk in the parking lot.

It was so sad the morning they left. I spent some time hugging all the sweet faces and getting some really good baby sugar. Little Mercie just didn't understand why she couldn't go home with me and her mama and daddy had to pry her little hands from around my neck. She was crying so hard that my heart broke. And is still breaking....

Mercie's smile quickly went from this sweet grin to this:

My heart just hurts each time I see this. Today as they traveled, she has been asking to go to Nana's house. And then she gets mad when they tell her that she can't. That makes me so sad, but the good news is that in a few weeks, we are going to Boston to take our daughter Melissa her furniture and we will go by Pennsylvania on the way home to spend a few days and to see those sweet faces again! Praise the Lord He is so good!

The morning after the kids had left my house, I found this picture that Mikaela had put in my bible. She always leaves me little notes either under my pillow or in my bible. She said she knows that I will find it there. My sweet girl. I miss her already. 
I am so thankful for God's Hand in my life. So thankful that He continues to convict and correct. Renew and restore. Reveal and revive. He causes me to seek Him with new passion. Desire Him with new longing. Search for Him with a heart that wants to be like Him. 

I rounded out my first 500 of my 1000 gifts and have had my eyes opened to His continual and infinite Goodness.

501. That my husband has lost 18  pounds in 3 weeks and is feeling so much better!
502. That God has enabled us to walk 2 miles a day together for the past 2 weeks. 
503. That our church is growing in spirit! We have baptized each Sunday for the past 6 weeks! Praise You Lord for the outpouring of your Spirit in our midst and for hearts that are truly seeking hard after You!!
504. God's abundant provision of Him in my life. I need Him more each day and am so thankful that He is always there to draw me, guide me and strengthen me. He is my portion. He is all I need.

"...I am the LORD that maketh all things;
that stretcheth forth the heavens alone;
that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself"
(Isaiah 44:24)
Father God, may I never take you for granted. May my heart continue to seek after You in a mighty way. I thank you and praise you that you are my strength and my shield. You are my portion forevermore. I pray that you will never cease refining me and restoring me. Continue to reveal sin in my life that I may confess and repent and turn away. Strengthen me daily as I do my best to walk in your ways. May I be compelled by your Holiness to be like you. I love you from the depths of my heart with all that I am. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

are we stunned?

Are we stunned by His Glory?
Gripped by His Greatness?
Overwhelmed at His Goodness?

If not, perhaps we need to be seeking a new vision of who our God is and what He can do in our lives. We  may need a fresh encounter with God. One that will render us speechless at His Majestic Power. One that will overcome us with His Glorious Splendor. One that will drive us to our faces in desperation for a sweet glimpse of His Glory. One that will bring us to the reality of His True Holiness.

This Holiness needs to compel us to be more like Him but at the same time we need to be vastly aware of the truth that His Holiness is what separates us from Him. His absolute, sovereign and stunning Holiness should shake us to the very core of our being. It should fuel us with an unparalleled passion. A new intensity. It should cause us to tremble at the very notion of who He is.

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts - the
whole earth is full of His glory"
(Isaiah 6:3)

If we long for a vision of God's Holiness, we need to be seeking it where we can find it. At His Feet. On our faces in full surrender. Hands held high to His Throne saying "I am yours, Lord. All of me. Take me, fill me and use me for Your Kingdom, Your Honor and Your Glory"

It's about worshiping Him with all that is within us. Worshiping Him for who He is. Letting our hearts be gripped by the awesomeness of His power. Acknowledging His Sovereignty.

Every time I read the passage in Isaiah 6: 1-8, I am filled with a new thrill about God's wonder as I read Isaiah's reaction to His glimpse of God's Splendor. He saw the Lord! And the very sight of the Lord's Glory immediately filled him with the reality of his own sin and unclean spirit. 

"Mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!"

That utterance from the mouth of Isaiah is so powerful and awe inspiring. He saw the Lord! He recognized Him in all His Kingship. He realized the depravity of the sin in his own life and immediately surrendered all to God.

When we allow ourselves to get deep into the presence of God... When we spend some very purposeful and intimate face-to-face time with our Lord... We will see His Glory. We will get a new awareness of His Majesty and Power. We will dive to our faces and truly seek Him. Experience Him. Encounter Him.

We will worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth. And when we rise we will shout:

"Mine eyes have seen the King!"

Oh, Hallelujah! Yes, Lord, show us your glory!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

deeper still

The deeper I crave to go in my relationship with my Lord, the deeper He digs into my heart and soul  and reveals those things that don't belong there. He lovingly reveals wrong attitudes. Improper motives. Critical spirits. He reveals those ungodly behaviors that are serving only to hinder my walk. Those things that are keeping me from going deeper still.

As much as those revelations hurt, they also feel good. It feels good to confess those things to a loving God and then to rest in the assurance of His forgiveness due to His amazing mercy and grace. I'm at the point now that I desire for ALL things unrighteous and unholy in my life to be revealed so they can be repented of, removed and replaced with godliness.

I begin each day with this prayer:

"Search me, O God, and know
my heart; try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, 
and lead me in the way everlasting"
(Psalm 139:23-24)

Thank you, Lord, for sweet mercy and grace. Thank you for being a loving God who desires good things for your children. Thank you for your patience with me and for continuing to draw me to a deeper and more intimate relationship with You.

My daughter called me Thursday night and said that Eli had just come running into the kitchen saying "Mama, it's an emergency. Mercie is cutting her hair!" Sure enough, the sweet thing had found a pair of children's scissors and cut her hair. I mean really cut her hair. Like she had half of a bad mullet. She had to take her the next morning to the beauty shop so they could try and fix it and wound up having to really cut it short. Her hair had gotten so long and wavy, but I have to admit that her hair cut looks really cute! 


Ashlie and the boys had spent the week down in south Louisiana where Cody is working and I missed them so much. It was nice to see them drive up Saturday and get some much needed baby sugar! 

Bryton really missed Mikaela and they had a good time at the park on Tuesday. I am so thankful that my girls children are close and love each other so much!

Silas doesn't look to sure about being on this ride between his 2 cousins!


It's so hard to believe that Silas will be 1 year old in less than 2 weeks! He has grown up so fast. He has the sweetest little personality - much like his sweet mama did.  I can't get enough of him. 

Eli loves to get his picture taken and he is quick to pose for me. He is such a precious boy. He was so upset when Mercie cut her hair and was trying to clean it up so Megan wouldn't be upset. He has a loving heart and there is nothing that melts me quicker than him telling me, "I just love you Nana". (I'm ready for his curls to grow back out...)

My sweet granddaughter Mikaela. My first grandchild. She fills me such joy that I can't even stand it! She has a loving heart and every time I tell her that I love her, she tells me she loves me more. I tell her that isn't possible and she smiles and says, "I have my ways". Oh, how I love her!

God gave me a glimpse of His glory with this beautiful sunset earlier this week. Jimbo and I had gone for a walk and as we came back home and walked into the back yard of our house, this was our view.

"O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name
in all the earth! who has set thy glory above the heavens."
(Psalm 8:1)

I pray that God ministers deeply to everyone that reads this! May His lavish love engulf you and overwhelm you and draw you nearer to His heart. He is holy and majestic. He is so worthy of all our praise. He is God!

Monday, June 6, 2011

just sit and worship

As I closed my eyes in sleep last night, my mind was playing over and over some words that I had heard in a song a few days before. Words that just hurt my soul as well as lifted my spirits. "His dying breath gave me life". As I went to sleep, I was pondering over the agony of the death that brought such joy in new life.

I opened my eyes early this morning and immediately felt an intense desire to get in the presence of God. Really, it was more like an intense need. I needed to just sit and be still before Him. 

After my quiet study time, I headed to my back patio. I sat in a chair, leaned back and closed my eyes. I prepared myself to just sit and dwell in His presence. 

No thoughts formed. No words. Nothing but my presence was necessary at first as God knew why I was there. His love and His goodness had drawn me to this place and that was enough. I just lifted my face to heaven and basked in the glory of His presence. Unspoken words began to reach the heart of God and as I sat in silence and quiet worship, the tears began to fall.

As the fresh tears fell, I started to voice what my heart was feeling.

You are mighty and powerful.
You are majestic and glorious.
You are goodness, kindness and mercy.
Lord, you are gracious, loving and so sweet.

Worship. That's what God had beckoned me to partake in this morning. Pure, unadulterated, heartfelt worship of Him.

You are Holy, oh, God. You are so worthy.

My eyes still closed, I could feel my hand raise itself high to the heavens and I began to praise Jesus right there. As I began to name all that He is to me, I felt His precious presence settle on my spirit.

Sweet worship.

He needed me to acknowledge who He was and is in my life so that I could start living like I believe it! I needed to once again, die to self. Confess my selfishness. Commit to Him in a new and more purposed way.

He is strength and power. In his name there is life and healing.

He is all I need. Above all else, I need to desire to be in His presence. I need to give my life fully to Him. The life that cost Him everything to give. His dying breath gave me life. I owe it all to Him. May I worship and praise Him all the days of my life.

"And He said, My presence shall
go with thee, and I will give
thee rest"
(Exodus 33:14)

Loving Him more each day,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

how bad do i want more of Him?

In my pursuit of God I have a real longing in my heart for more. More of Him. More of His power in my life. More of His presence.

I thirst and hunger for a deeper, more intimate relationship with a holy God. But am I really pursuing it with a passion unparalleled by any other pursuit? Am I really doing all that it takes to get to where I so desire to be?

I want to know Him like never before. But am I digging into the Word frantically and searching like my life depends upon it?

I want to fully know the power of the resurrection. But am I taking the necessary steps to make that  happen?

I desire to grow in the knowledge of  my Savior. I want to understand the message of the cross and its provision like never before. I long to develop an intimacy with my Lord that knows no bounds. But so many times, I allow the things of this life to get in the way and keep myself occupied with things that just don't really matter. 

There is nothing more important than my relationship with Jesus. There is nothing more precious than just to sit at His feet and be drawn into His presence. Nothing.

It is thrilling to know that God  created us to KNOW Him. He desires for us to SEEK Him and to LONG for Him. He longs for our presence at His feet more than anything else. Just to sit and soak up the beauty and majesty of His glory. Just to sit and be awed at His power and His might. 

I want to pour over the precious scriptures and be blown away by the revelation of Truth. 

Feverishly searching. Earnestly seeking. Eagerly expecting.

Anticipating a mighty work of His hands. A powerful manifestation of His power and glory. I ache to just sit in His awesome presence and soak up His infinite goodness and experience Him like never before.

He is indescribable. Undefinable. Holy. He is God. He fills me with joy unspeakable. Love inexpressible. Peace unimaginable.

I sit with my eyes closed. Heart open. And my face turned toward heaven. 

I am ready for His touch. Searching. Seeking. Find me,  Lord.
Thank you, Lord, that I continue to fill up my 1000 gifts journal. You show me every day, the many things that are blessings from your hand.  May the next 441 entries speak as loudly as the first 441 did.