flashthoughts

Archive for the ‘INFORMATIONAL’ Category

mission-trip-to-whereIt continues to amaze me how God can (and will) use the most ordinary thing to stir something in my Spirit that, I believe, He is wanting me to share with others. Last Wednesday morning was another great example.

My husband and I receive a monthly prayer calendar from We Care. The We Care calendar has specific things or people to pray for each day of the month. January is dedicated to people and/or items concerning ReNew Hope. On January 11th, we were asked to pray for “Donors, Prayer Intercessors and their families”. A simple enough request, right? Yet, something began to stir in my Spirit and it didn’t go away, so here I am trying my best to share what I believe God wants me to share.

What comes to your mind when you think of a mission trip? Africa? Nicaragua? Tibet? Ecuador? China? Russia? Haiti? The Outback of Australia? Prison?

When we were asked to pray for the donors, prayer intercessors and their families, it made me think of all the churches who go on mission trips to other countries every year; but, how many, if any, sponsor a mission trip to a prison yard?

Every year, during the last week of January, an organization called the We Care Program conducts a “mission trip” of sorts. It is called ReNew Hope and people come from all over the United States, Canada and other countries to spend a week in Alabama and take the love of Jesus into the prison mission field. Many of these people are using the only week of vacation they receive from their every day job to do this, not to mention it costs them money to come and participate. These people have a true calling from the Lord to do this and they are blessed for it. They are blessed most when they are given the privilege of seeing a lost soul come to Jesus for the first time or when one returns home (comes back to Jesus), like the prodigal son. If you haven’t already signed up, it is too late to participate in this year’s ReNew Hope. However, if you feel like this is something God is calling you to do, you should go to the website for We Care (click on the name and it will take you there) and get more information. Maybe you can join in next year. If your church participates in mission trips, maybe you could talk to them about supporting a mission trip to the prisons in Alabama (and one in Florida) next year.

I realize we aren’t all called to go to on mission trips – abroad or at home – but, we can be called to help those who are. If you don’t feel called to go, you should not go; but, if you are called to help others go, you should help in any way you can – whether that be financially or through prayer.

I believe the prisons are some of the biggest mission fields today that are lacking the most in missionaries to cover it. This is due, in part, to the fact there aren’t many willing to go into this mission field and partly due to the fact those willing to go have a hard time raising the funds allowing them to go.

My husband, along with other We Care Chaplains, goes into, what some would call, one of those most dangerous mission fields on a daily basis – not just once a year. He goes into prisons. He goes in to share the hope of Jesus, to share his own story of what God did and continues to do in his life and to let the men there know He can, will and wants to do the same for them, if they will allow it. He does this under the umbrella of the “We Care Program”. We Care does not contribute to his salary; but, forwards to him funds that are given for his support, in the form of wages. He receives 100% of the money donated to him, unless it is donated with a credit/debit card. If a card is used, a small percentage goes to cover administration fees collected by the company associated with the card. If you would like to become a partner with us, or any other chaplain with We Care, feel free to contact me and I will be happy to share with you the information on how to do that.

I would like to give a little more information about the We Care Program, for those who aren’t familiar with it. We Care’s vision statement is: “To see the redemptive power of Jesus Christ become evident in the lives of inmates as they grow and make disciples in prison and beyond.” Their mission is “to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ through chaplaincy in the correctional setting” and their core values are Biblical foundation, daily discipleship and caring ministry.

I challenge each one who has read this far to be in prayer for the over 400 people coming together next week for this mission trip. I further challenge you to be in much prayer about it this year and see how God would like to use YOU on this mission trip next year – as an active participant, a financial participant (helping or sponsoring someone else who wants to be an active participant) or as a mighty prayer warrior. All three are equally important and vital to growing the Kingdom of God.

The men and women in prison, in God’s eyes, are no different than you and I. They made wrong choices and are paying the consequences of those choices; but, they are still men and women created by God and He will welcome any man or woman into His Kingdom when they confess their sin to Him, turn from their wicked ways and do their best to live daily for Him – even if it’s from a prison yard. Think about this: there are many prisoners who have been truly born again and are living a much freer life than some of us on the “outside”.

But thanks be to God, Who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ I Corinthians 15:57

YOU'RE INVITEDSomeone asked me, on our team page, what I had done to end up with a $1,200 plus party and this was my response. After I finished it and read it over again, I felt it was something I needed to share with everyone to show how faithful and true God is. All praise, honor and glory to Him, my Father! Here is my response to her question:

That is the real BEAUTY of this order – I did not do ANYTHING – GOD did it ALL!!! I am TOTALLY serious when I say that, too. I had tried everything I knew to get a “home” party booked in March (2013). I had a catalog party going but that was it. I was getting parties booked for April and May but couldn’t seem to get anything for March and I, basically, just said, “That’s it. I’ve tried everything I know to do and I don’t have any ‘tricks’ left. I guess I just won’t have a home party in March, Lord, and if that is what You want, I’m okay with it because YOU put me in this business in the first place.” And I truly was okay with it. But God….I was sitting at my desk Sunday afternoon, March 10, working away and my phone rang. I almost didn’t answer it because I didn’t recognize the number – then remembered that I better answer it because my number is “out there” on a lot of things now and no telling who it might be. So, I answered it and it was a lady that I had never met before. She was saying something about Thirty~One and I thought she was wanting to place an order (as I had just finished up an ‘online’ party) so I was reaching for an order form. THEN I realized she was saying she wanted to HAVE A PARTY!!!! This lady ordered from someone back in November that had done a catalog party for me and now she wanted to have a party – a HOME PARTY – and the kicker? She wanted to have it SATURDAY!!! As in SIX days later Saturday. (Not much time for preparation or hostess coaching or anything!) I first said, “Well, I can do an evening party because I have a wedding to attend that afternoon.” She couldn’t do an evening party because they were having a singing at her church that she had to help with. I was looking for other dates we might could do it but she was saying Saturday would be the ONLY day in March she could do it as she would be going out of town for work. So, I thought very quickly and realized GOD had this woman to call me and I was NOT about to say no to a party that He, so obviously, was sending to me! LOL So, I told her okay and we set it up for 2:00 Saturday afternoon. She and her husband stopped by that evening on their way to church to pick up her packet and I didn’t see her again until the day of the party. It was the most CHAOTIC party I’ve ever done – people in and out, constantly coming and going – I was EXHAUSTED when I left there, but not because of anything I’d done – I was tired just from watching THEM – LOL – I did the “Mary Poppins” type of party and that was it. She had a little over $900 in sales when I left on Saturday and she told me, “I will have it up to $1200 by tomorrow afternoon because I want three of the Hostess Exclusives and I want them for FREE!” When she called me the next afternoon, she had a little over $1400 in sales.

So, I know that was a VERY long answer, but I HAVE to give ALL the credit to God and I felt I had to share the whole story for anyone reading this to understand WHY I say that and so they know, as I do, WITHOUT A DOUBT, that it most certainly was ALL GOD. Yes, I had to do my part – but HE is the One that gave me the party and HE is the One that blessed me for being obedient (taking the party He sent me instead of attending the wedding).

As I said before, HE is the One that put me in this business and He has blessed it beyond anything I could ever think or imagine. I know I am doing my part, but, honestly, I feel like I am just sitting back watching Him work – it is a WONDERFUL feeling 🙂

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Also, since it took me so long to get around to sharing this testimony on my blog, there has been an update to this story. The Hostess that had this party for me sent me a text about a week or so later wanting to know about becoming a consultant! We set a date to get together so I could share everything with her and then we set a date to get together and get her enrolled. She was the second lady to join my team. Since that time, which was only two weeks ago today, God has sent four other ladies to me. Two have joined my team, one I am meeting with this afternoon to get her enrolled and the fourth one I have to call today to set up a time to share everything with her. All this just days after I had prayed and asked God to help me remember this is HIS business and He will help me go wherever He wants me to go. I had started to get a little anxious about some things and had to remind myself to give it to Him and let Him do what He wants with it. I simply said, “Lord, if You want me to grow my team and go farther with this, then it will happen in Your time – not mine”. Then I forgot about it. I think He gave me the answer to that prayer when He sent every one of those ladies to me. You better believe that now I am DEFINITELY going to be ‘actively’ recruiting every time I can. Nobody can say YES, if I never ask. So, if you want to know more about what I’m referring to, just let me know and I’ll be more than happy to share 🙂

So thankful to Him for allowing me to do this and be a part of His continuing plan. He is SO good to me!

Love y’all!

NO APOLOGIESI offer no apologies for anyone that comes in contact with me or is contacted by me today. I am having one of those days where I am feeling overwhelmed by the love the Father has for me! I’m reminded, too, that as much as He loves me, He also loves those that we, as humans, tend to think of as ‘lowlifes’ or ‘good for nothings’. Here on earth we put people in different “statuses”; but, God – He loves us all the same and sees us all the same. He loves each one of us so much that He sent us a very precious gift, His Son, to die for us so that we could live with Him forever! The only difference He sees is those who have accepted His gift to us or those who haven’t – yet! He still loves us all the same, though, whether we have accepted His gift yet or not. He still wants each one of us to eventually accept His gift. 

HOW TOTALLY AMAZING IS THAT???? It absolutely blows my mind and is the reason for the tears that were slipping from the corners of my eyes this morning as I was thinking about it while driving to work. They weren’t sad tears. I really don’t know what you would call them but I like to think of those kind of tears as the overflow of His love for me. I feel His presence and His love for me so strongly that I can’t hold it all inside and it comes out in the form of tears. I wish I were poetic enough to describe how I’m feeling when it’s like this, but either I’m not or the words just haven’t been created yet, so I have to do the best I can with what I have to work with.

My prayer today is this: If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, don’t wait – do it today, this minute! You are not guaranteed another breath. He loves you as much as the Father does, He is standing right there at the door of your heart, knocking and knocking – He is just waiting for you to say, “Come in”. He is a gentleman and will not force His way in; but, know this, He also will not knock forever. There will come a day when He will determine that you have so hardened your heart that He will leave you alone, as you seem to want. I can only say that I pray that day doesn’t come for you. No matter how much you may think you want nothing to do with Him, the very minute you let the wall down and open the door to invite Him in, you will feel this wonderful, awesome, overwhelming love and you will be forever grateful that you let Him in.

I’m reminded of what I read in an Anne Graham Lotz Bible Study that I did several years ago. This is how she put it: He is the Savior who has redeemed me, the Lord who rules my life, The King who will return for me and He is the most important man in the UNIVERSE! He is the God man. Jesus Christ is THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN THE UNIVERSE FOR EVER & EVER & EVER! And the most important man in ALL the universe for EVER & EVER & EVER thinks that YOU are so important that He gave His own blood to redeem you. He gave His life for you. How can you feel unimportant? You are significant to THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN ALL THE UNIVERSE.

I also offer no apologies for the turn this blog seemed to take. I truly only wanted to share with everyone how overwhelmed with His love I was this morning; but, apparently, He had other ideas. Trust me, these words came straight from Him. As I was reading over what I had written, I was, once again, astounded at what He does when we allow Him to use us.

One more thing before I go – if you decide to accept Jesus as Your Savior and invite Him in, not only to your heart but your entire life, I would love to know so I can pray for you and with you. Just leave a comment here, a simple “I accepted Jesus” and I will definitely be praying for you.

Love y’all so much!

All day today I was joking that I threw myself in front of a bus this morning. I made comments like, “I threw myself in front of a bus this morning but I’m having a great day now” or “Considering I started the day by throwing myself in front of a bus, it’s going really good now”.

Of course, I was mostly trying to laugh it off and convince myself the pain wasn’t so bad. I mean, it really could have been a lot worse than it was. I was able to go back in the house, clean myself up and get out the door and go to work. So, you may be asking yourself,  “Why in the world did she throw herself in front of a bus?”

Here’s what really happened – someone was coming by my house this morning to pick up some merchandise she had ordered from me. When she arrived, she just pulled over on the opposite side of the road from where I was. I looked to see if I could cross the road and I saw a school bus coming but it was far enough away that I knew I had plenty of time to cross the street and give the lady her merchandise. I stepped out with my right foot (most likely a little ‘quicker’ than I would have if nothing had been coming) but, when I moved my left foot, it hit a hole instead of solid ground. The next thing I knew I was falling and the only thought in my head while I was falling was “Oh no! The bus is coming! I have to get up!” I truly wish I could see it on video because, in my mind, it had to be the funniest sight ever! All I can imagine is that, anyone who saw it, saw me hit the pavement and jump right back up as if I’d hit a trampoline!

I gave the lady her merchandise, assuring her I was fine and that I only had scraped knees and jammed fingers. I was trying to hurry up and get done and get back across the street (without falling this time) and get in my car so I could leave for work. Once inside my car, I made sure she had gone on and made sure the bus  – anyone that had witnessed “the spectacle” was gone – and I pulled my pants legs up to reveal two scraped, bloody knees. I knew I needed to go back inside and clean them up before I left for work, so I did. Right before leaving the house, I managed to post this on Facebook  (still trying to see the ‘humor’ in the situation instead of my embarrassment): Tupid hole! On the bright side, I’m sure I gave all the kids on that school bus a huge laugh for the day. OUCH! My fingers and knees hurt! Bring on the ibuprofen and let’s try this leaving for work thing one more time!

And so it went with me all day UNTIL I was taking my shower tonight. I was remembering the accident that happened yesterday right in the church driveway after church and how that lady had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. {She wound up being okay, though, and walked out of the hospital on her own to go home. 🙂 } Then something a friend posted on Facebook earlier today came to my mind – this was her post:

Did you hear Moses (Pastor Glenn Weber) talk yesterday at Grace Fellowship? He said, in 6 weeks ONLY, the people who loved and trusted God turned away! He told us to “stay on the road”, “dig into your Bible” and “seek God”. 6 weeks ????? I want to share what happened to me this morning. I went to get some eggs from dollar general. I was praising and thanking God for giving me courage yesterday and jamming to 88.5! On the road, by myself. As I made the turn with the yield sign ahead to the right, I made sure there was no traffic coming in the turn lane (on the highway). Still thanking the Lord, I looked up at the beautiful blue sky. Tickled like a kid, I delayed in looking….right in front of me was a 18 wheeler! I crossed the line, he blew the horn, my heart started racing and my thankful excitement changed into thankful to be alive. I swerved to the far right and noticed the long stretch of road ahead of me. The 6 week example of how easy God’s people forgot about His laws turned into a reality of a split second….how easily we can be gone. Hummm 6 weeks to 1 second…the reality of we don’t know what the future holds. But, God does. I’m so blessed to be alive, to cook breakfast, and pick my son up from school. Just thought I would share a little bit of my reality this morning. Have a good day everyone!

No, I did not remember her entire post. What came to my mind was how she mentioned our service yesterday and how, in an instant, her life could have been over today. I remembered how nervous she was yesterday morning about sharing part of ‘her story’ during the service and how God was able to get glory because she overcame her fear of speaking in front of people and shared. I thought, “Yeah, she made the enemy mad and he tried to take her out today.” THAT is when it clicked in my mind! Of course I had not “thrown myself in front of a bus” – I was THROWN in front of that bus! Instead of joking about it all day, like I had done, I should have been giving God the praise for having His angels there to jerk me right back up as quickly as they did. It made me start to wonder how many times I have “missed” giving Him glory because of my own embarassment in a situation. In fact, it made me realize that I had no reason to be embarrassed. Why should I be embarrassed because somebody pushed me onto the street? How many times has God rescued me from something and I’ve never taken the time to realize it was HIM that rescued me and never even bothered to thank Him for saving me?

I remember as I was back in the car this morning, getting ready to pull out and head to work – still crying like a baby – the thought went through my head, “Thank You, Father, for always being there for me. I don’t do half what I should for You and yet You are always right there when I need You, ever so faithful. Please forgive me.” Guess I should have thought on that some more and maybe it wouldn’t have taken me all day to realize what had happened this morning; but, I am thankful that He got through to me tonight and I am thankful that I have a way (this blog, Facebook and Twitter) to SHOUT to the world of how THE ENEMY TRIED TO DESTROY ME TODAY BUT GOD HAD A DIFFERENT PLAN! Do you remember me saying at the beginning that it must have looked like I jumped right back up “as if I’d hit a tramploline”? Maybe so, but I now KNOW how I got back up so quickly – I KNOW it was His angels that jerked me right back up and from this day forward I will give HIM all the praise, honor and glory for it!

I know that I have written before about how everything comes down to choices – specifically, our individual choices. Recently, I found out a video was done as a college project by someone in our church about this very thing. I was going to share it on Facebook, but decided I’d rather share it here (with permission) so my “non-facebook” friends would have a chance to see it, too.

This video is extremely well done – and YOU get to pick which choice Sam makes. I suggest watching all the different scenarios – and remember, it DOES always come down to the choices we make. (Great job Lacey!)

I came home from work on Wednesday, May 23 and there it was – a box sitting on my desk just waiting to be opened. I could hardly wait to see what was inside. I carefully cut the tape on the box so as not to damage the contents. I opened the flaps of the box and there it was, the very special book I had been waiting to receive. My sweet friend, Tammy, had told us about this book. She received one as a Mother’s Day gift from her husband. She told us how she and her husband had actually written part of this book. In fact, reading what  she wrote about it in her Facebook post is what got me so interested in it.

I am talking about the NIV Bible Across America. Have you heard about it? Did you know when it was making the tour across America? I did not. I had not heard – or maybe I should say I don’t remember hearing – anything about it until Tammy told us about it. This Bible celebrates the 30th anniversary of the most popular Bible translation of all time according to what was written on the cover box that it came in. In fact, let me share with you what else it says on that box: Covering over 30,000 verses, 90 cities and nearly nine months, the Bible Across America tour was an undertaking of Biblical proportions. With God’s blessing and the help of tens of thousands from coast to coast, we’ve successfully created the world’s first handwritten copy of the NIV Bible.

Yes – you read that right – HANDWRITTEN! This tour went all across America, including making a stop at the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama, and I honestly don’t remember hearing anything about it! The tour started September 30, 2008 and anyone and everyone was invited to come to their tour stops and write a verse of the Bible – young and old alike.

But all the above are simply facts about this Bible. Other than being handwritten, what makes this Bible so different to me? It’s not like I don’t already have an NIV Bible and several other translations as well, for that matter. I ordered this Bible, mainly, because I just had to see for myself the handwritten verses. I was not expecting what I received. I didn’t receive the unexpected when I first opened the package and saw this new Bible. Oh, it was ‘neat’ and ‘interesting’, just as I thought it would be. The night I received the Bible I didn’t really have time to do much more than skim over what was in it. Of course, I took time to find the two verses that my friend, Tammy, and her husband, Jim, had written but that was about the extent of it.

Sunday morning I got this new Bible out to use. I wanted to read over the verses that would be included in our message Sunday morning. As I started reading, THAT is when I received the unexpected. I was truly ‘mesmerized’, for lack of a better word, by the handwritten verses. Suddenly, I realized what a treasure I now had. Reading the handwritten verses caused me to be overcome with the realization of how the ORIGINAL Bible came to be – it, too, was HANDWRITTEN on scrolls! Yes, obviously I knew this already. It’s just that all of a sudden, it was no longer ‘head’ knowledge. It became HEART knowledge and I began to be so overwhelmed by it all that I don’t even know where to begin to try and describe it. It’s one of those things that is truly impossible to explain. It’s something you would just have to experience for yourself.

So, what makes this Bible different? It’s true that I was caught up in how ‘cool’ or how ‘neat’ it was. Yes, it has many inspiring stories of several of the people that wrote verses in it and what it meant to them to be able to do so; but, only when I opened it up and started reading the handwritten verses did it come alive for me! All the things that have been and will be said about it being so wonderful are true. However, if you want to experience what I think can only be described as one tenth of what the people felt that wrote the original scriptures, I highly recommend that you get your hands on one and begin reading. I pray that, when you do, the verses you read – the same verses you’ve read like me probably a million or more times before – will suddenly be more real than they ever have been.

I’m sure you can find it in several places but, if you want to get an INCREDIBLE deal on this Bible, click here to go straight to a GREAT deal on it at Christian Book.

You will NOT find a better way to spend $15.99 in my opinion! In fact, this is ten dollars less than what they had it on sale for just a couple of weeks ago when I ordered it! So, get your order in fast if you want one, because I’m sure that they won’t last long at this price!

If you order one, I would love to know what you think about it and what happens to you when you receive it and begin to read it. Would you be so kind as to leave me a comment below and let me know if you order one? Then come back and tell me if it had any affect on you. I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

Love y’all!

What am I thinking? Taking my car to have it serviced without an appointment? Really? I’m gonna be there all day! I better take plenty of things to keep me busy. – These were the thoughts running through my mind as I was preparing to leave for Daphne this morning. So, I packed my computer, daily devotional, notebook, note cards and was ready to go. At the last minute, I thought “I should take The Story with me and re-read the chapter for tomorrow’s message.” Now I know why He wanted me to take it – read on…

Reading Chapter 15 again – I must confess I was mostly ‘skimming’ over it until I got almost to the end. I was still ‘skimming’ when suddenly it seemed He opened my eyes to what I was reading. As if He was asking me, “Are you even paying attention to what you are reading? Don’t you see this is where you live today?” Read the following and see if you agree. Please note that anything in italics is what I have added because I truly think the substitution could be made – see if you agree. I look forward to reading your comments about this.

Taken from The Story – Chapter 15
Hosea 4:1-2; 5:4, 7, 14-15; 8:13b-14; 9:7; 14:1-2

Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites {Americans},
because the Lord has a charge to bring
against you who live in the land:
“There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land.
There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery;
they break all bounds and bloodshed follows bloodshed.”

“Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God.
A spirit of prostitution is in their heart;
they do not acknowledge the Lord.

They are unfaithful to the Lord;
they give birth to illegitimate children.
When they celebrate their New Moon feasts,
He will devour their fields.”

“For I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
like a great lion to Judah.
I will tear them to pieces and go away;
I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them.
Then I will return to My lair
until they have borne their guilt
and seek My face – in their misery
they will earnestly seek Me.”

“Now He will remember their wickedness
and punish their sins:
They will return to Egypt.
Israel {America} has forgotten their Maker
and built palaces;
Judah has fortified many towns.
But I will send fire on their cities
that will consume their fortresses.”

The days of punishment are coming,
the days of reckoning are at hand.
Let Israel {America} know this.
Because your sins are so many
and your hostility so great,
the prophet is considered a fool,
the inspired person a maniac.

Return, Israel {America}, to the Lord your God.
Your sins have been your downfall!
Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to Him: “Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.”

So, I ask you – Israel or America? What do you say? I don’t see how anyone can read these words and not recognize this is the America we are living in. Do we want it to continue this way? Don’t start playing the “Blame Game” and pointing fingers at politicians or your neighbor or anyone else – we are each responsible for our own individual actions and reactions. When each individual makes the choice to give HIM control of their life, that is when change will come. I need to focus on my life and whether or not I am truly allowing God to have control or if there are some things that I am still trying to control myself. When He shows me areas where I have not given complete control to Him, then I need to immediately take steps to release those to Him also. I can only do this for me – only you can do it for you. Oh what a difference we will begin to see if we will begin to do this. Don’t you agree?

Oh and if you would like help in giving Him complete control – check THIS out 🙂


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