Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cookies for Christ

Twas several nights before Christmas
And all through the house
Was the smell of cookies baking
And several ladies with flour on their blouse!

They baked cookies with the thought of others to share
As they acknowledged that Christ's birthday would soon be there.

The result of the kitchen...Oh, what a mess!!
The ladies just grinned and said..."God Bless!"

The cookies were delivered with smiles and love,
To portray the light that lives in each of them, from the One above!

To all of you ladies that allowed the Lord's light to shine through
Thank you for the memory of that night, and all that you do!

With much love,

p.s. - I can't wait until our next 'Apron' time with Jesus!  :) 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Manic Monday or Blessing in Disguise?

Monday, a week ago, was surely a manic Monday or was it a blessing in disguise?  Our son who is at college went to his morning class and returned home to realize that his privacy had been violated by some intruders that had stolen some items from his apartment.  As though this wasn't enough to deal with, he had a meeting with the baseball coach that afternoon only to receive word that he had been cut from the baseball team.  Whew!  What a day our son had to endure.  As his mom, my heart was breaking and I was filled with so much compassion for him.  This would be one of many lessons that he will go through in life.

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

All in one day, our son experienced a thief in the night (day) and having a life long dream or goal crushed.   It didn't take long for our son to regroup and get back on track with his life.  Through many prayers, love and support from our family and friends, he is learning how to keep on...keeping on!  He is such a strong and determined young man.  I have complete faith in knowing that he will succeed in life because he is trusting God for where he will go from here.  He may be receiving a "No" right now but later down his path of life, he may be surprised with a "Yes" in a direction that God is leading him! 

Our son will be transferring to a different college to take time out from baseball and to continue pursuing his education.  But its OKAY!  Life is full of disappointments and mishaps, but through Christ we can do anything.  It doesn't mean we will always be happy on our mountain of good times or get OUR way all the time.  It means we will endure hard times and go through life experiences to learn how to accept His will in our lives instead of our own desires.  It is in our "storms" of life that God draws us closer to Him to grow our faith!

We thank you for the lessons in life that you allow us to go through in order to accomplish Your works and will in our lives.  Thank you for the good times and the bad.  Continue to guide and lead our every step and may we be a blessing to someone who would see You living in us!  Forgive us Lord for our sins and for not always trusting that You know best when we receive a 'No' when we really wanted a 'Yes'.  We surrender to Your will in our lives!  Amen!   

It's not about me Lord....It's all about YOU!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

God is glancing at your heart and attitude...What does He see?

1 Samuel 16:7 - "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

Do you have a "willing" heart?  To have a "willing" heart you sometimes must have a "want to" attitude.  I know that God has a calling on my life, but there are times that this calling requires me to press through a lot of negative things.  I have a heart that desires to serve and please God but during the hard times, it requires a lot of "want to" from me.  No matter what is going on around me in my life, I have to keep on keeping on! 

By observing myself and other people, I have come to the conclusion that we end up doing what we want to do.  If there is something we want to do strongly enough, somehow we will find a way to do it.  If we "want to" we can lose weight, save money, get a better job,  make it to a baseball or softball game, attend conferences, retreats, and even make it to church three times a week. How much 'want to' do you have right now?  Let me first say that my 'want to' well is not as full as it has been but I know God replenishes those who seek living water.  Sadly, I have seen many around me who have somehow allowed their 'want to' well to become almost dry.  We have a habit of blaming others around us for the depletion of our 'want to'. We give excuses like "Things just aren't the same at church" or "I always volunteer to work during vacation bible school and the fall festival so let someone else do it this time" or "It feels like everyone is going in different directions and we are not unified". 

I will boldly say that we can be going in different directions and still be unified.  We can all have the same goal and achieve it in different ways.  We can be in the same race for Christ but on different paths to reach the finish line.  We can obtain unity while traveling in different directions to serve God.  However, it will require a good bit of "want to" attitude from all of us! We need to sit down and do a 'want to' inventory in our lives.   What we really need to do is be completely honest and say "Lord, I didn't volunteer to work during vacation bible school because I really didn't want to.  I didn't go to bible study because I really didn't want to.  I didn't pray or read and meditate on Your Word today because I really didn't want to.  I didn't go to Sunday school or church on Sunday because I really didn't want to.  Instead, I sat around the house watching tv, went shopping, went to watch a ballgame, went hunting or whatever - because that is what I wanted to do."

Now, there is nothing wrong with rest and entertainment, in fact I will encourage you to take time out with your family but we need to get our "want to's" in order!  I am guilty of allowing my "want to" to get out of whack at times.  Thankfully, God will always pull me back to my first love, the number one "want to" in my life...Him!  If you and I are going to walk with and serve the Lord, then we must have willing hearts and 'want to' attitudes.  And when we see ourselves or someone else getting out of order in these areas, we must hold each other accountable.  Remember: God is not interested in our good works if we are not doing them with a willing heart!  There will be times that we have to exercise discipline because we may not feel like doing something but if we have the 'want to' we will do it in Jesus name!  It chills me to the bone and saddens me to think about how many times I have failed as a child of the King because I answered "I really don't want to." My hope and prayer for this message is that we would ALL be encouraged to get our 'want to' in line and get to moving for the Lord with willing hearts! 

Lord, forgive me for not being the leader that you have called me to be at times.  I pray that my 'want to' well would be filled until it overflows and affects others around me!  Lord, let your sleeping giant rise in us that we would 'want to' do your works and catch all the demons by surprise!  I pray that we would have willing hearts and want to attitudes that would become contagious to everyone around us.  I pray that Your church will arise!!!  Amen! 

With a 'want to' attitude,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

God is leading, Is anyone following?

The living room has mounted deer heads hanging on the wall.  You can find a turkey beard laying on a dresser in a bedroom.  There is black bear decor throughout.  Gun cabinets are filled with rifles, shotguns, ammunition, deer calls and bow with arrows.  And there is plenty of camouflage in any given closet (including mine). The Barnes' home is surely a country man's mansion, but our home is not a huge, extravagant living place with fancy furniture or lavish accessories.  However, it is our home and it reflects the people and personalities that live here. We truly are a south Georgia blessed family!

I describe who we are only to tell you a story, a God-lesson.  My dad was out hunting with his black powder gun this past weekend.  He made a shot on a deer and called us to bring our deer tracking beagle, Lucy.  Lucy has been tracking deer for about 2 years now.   She has tracked and found several deer but she is still learning the process. We arrived at the hunting land and began working Lucy to track the deer.  Lucy tracks from one point to the next, all the while, searching for something to lead her. Her nose is her tool for tracking and following after what she is hunting.   She constantly searches  for some sort of scent from the deer.  Sometimes she even has to back track to find the trail again if she gets off course.  As we were tracking through the woods, I began to ponder the thoughts of how we Christians have to continuously seek (track) God's will, direction and purpose in our lives.

Oh, what lessons we Christians can learn from something such as a dog!  God gives us all different abilities with a lot of the same tools to use in tracking His will in our lives.  God leads us on different trails of life.  Don't be afraid to start tracking your path.  If you have gotten lost on your trail, be bold and back track until you get the scent of His leading again.  He will never leave you in the wilderness with no direction or without simple clues for you to seek after.  But you must be obedient enough to seek, listen and TRUST His direction of leading whether it makes sense to you or not. 

As we were tracking the deer, so many times Lucy would try to go in a direction that didn't seem right to us. We would pull her away and try to get her to go in the direction we thought was correct.  She was on the right path and we kept trying to pull her away from it.  When we are tracking our path in Christ, there will be times when people or things will try to detour us.  They may not understand our decisions or why we are doing the things that we are.  Be bold..take a stand for who you are in Christ.  Stay strong and determined on your path!  Keep seeking until you find or reach the divine answer. 

This blog may sound a little crazy to you if you are not an outdoors kind of person.  God speaks to people in so many different ways and He speaks to me constantly through His creation.  Some of my most favorite conversations with God have been when I was sitting in a deer stand observing the land, trees and wildlife (His majestic creation). Remember to take time in the busyness of life to hear the quiet voice of the Lord.  He is always talking to is just a matter of if we are listening!  He is always leading us on our is just a matter of if we are seeking and tracking Him to reach our destination!  How hard are you seeking and tracking God's will in your life?  Are you allowing fear to put detours in your path?  Have you ventured off onto your own trail of life?  Do you need to back track and get back on God's trail?  Start today by asking Him to show you the way and surrender to His leading no matter where it takes you. 

For the Lord knows the plans He has for you....
Continue to seek Him and you will know them too!

Keep tracking Christ!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Family Ties

We had a wonderful holiday weekend with friends and family!  Friday evening, we enjoyed a delicious dinner with some of our best friends.  Saturday, we spent the day with all of our boys and their girlfriends (except Camo - his girlfriend is still his mama. LOL!) It was a day of watching old home videos and the house was filled with laughter and joy. Sunday was a day of worship for our Lord.  Sunday evening was beautiful.  You could feel the autumn bite in the air just teasing us with fall.  It has not arrived yet as temps will get back up in the 90's here this week.  That evening, we entertained friends with burgers and four wheeler riding.  It was a beautiful night.  As we were riding, the stars in the sky were breath taking! God's creation is such a beautiful painting of His greatness!  Monday consisted of dove hunting for Rodney, Ryan and Justin. Camron enjoyed a day of being spoiled with Mackenzie, Lele and family.  Ryan left to head back to college that afternoon and I was left at the house to enjoy sometime to myself.  However, I found myself very sad and lonely.  I went and walked our puppy and then rode around in my car for a little while.  I began to tell God of my feelings.  I didn't want to feel this way. I asked him to take the sad feeling from my heart and to just remind me of the joy of being His daughter and a part of His family.

The Lord did remind me of something Camron had said Sunday as we were leaving church.  Camron made the statement "Mama, it feels like Ryan is a part of our family again".  We all chuckled at him and Ryan gave him the biggest hug. Camron was happy to be spending time with Ryan. You could tell that Ryan and Justin enjoyed spending time together this weekend as well, even though they would never admit that they miss each other.  As I was driving, I began to wonder if God ever feels this way toward His children.  I wonder how lonely He may feel because of His children not meeting, talking and spending time with Him? And also, just how excited He must become when He feels that we are a part of His family when we do take the time to visit Him in prayer, bible reading, fellowship or singing praises to Him.  Whether you realize it or not, God desires for you to be a part of His family.  He wants to spend time with you.  He wants to help you make decisions in the crossroads of life.  He wants you to feel His love.  How long has it been since you felt as though you were a part of His family, or that He was a part of your family? Do you miss leaning on His shoulders to rest? Jesus died for our sins not just so that we would be able to go to heaven, but that we would be able to have a relationship with and be a part of God's family. Jesus is the bridge that ties relationships with God and makes it a family.

My prayer today is that God is not lonely for you but that He recognizes you as an active part of His family.  After all, a Father loves spending time with His children as often as they like to visit!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Better than a Hallelujah!

This past weekend, one of my dear friend's son was burned.  He received burns to his face, chest, shoulder and arms.  This young man has shown such great courage and strength through it all.  He received minor surgery from one of the best burn facilities around.  He returned home and is now on the road to recovery. 

As I have prayed for this young man daily, I can't help but to be filled with tons of joy and praise just thinking about what God has in store for him.  I know that this whole experience has been a very painful, frightening, and nerve wrecking time for him and his family.  The best thing through all of this has been that God has been in control.  He was there when this young man was on the burn pile, He was there with the paramedics when the father met them with his son, He was there when the mother received that sinking feeling in her stomach and heart because of news that one of her boys had been hurt, He was there at the hospital when the ambulance arrived and was met by what seemed like 50 doctors, He was there on the helicopter ride entertaining this young man with a view of wildlife in the fields, He was there meeting this young man as he arrived at one of the best burn victim hospitals around and was by himself, He was in the vehicle with the parents as they had to drive the four hour ride to reach their son who had been transported, God was with the young man through surgery, his journey home and He is still there with this young man and his family!

A family leaning on God during times of pain and suffering is better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

A community coming together and loving this family like Jesus loves is better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

God hearing thousands of prayers for a young man is better than a Hallelujah!

We pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are, The honest cries of breaking hearts...are better than a Hallelujah!!!

Thank you Lord for your mercy and blessings on the Patrick family this week!  I pray you continue to heal Clayton and speak to him during this time. Lord, may he grow to be a "mighty" soldier for you!  We pray for complete healing and can't wait to see him back on the baseball field! Amen!

With much love for the Patrick family,


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Week of New Adventures

This past Saturday, our baby boy, Camron, lost his first tooth.  Camron said that the tooth fairy is really a tooth angel.  The tooth angel's job is to take all the teeth back to God because he wants them all in heaven! Well, it sounds good to me.  Who knows, maybe God could use all the teeth at the "pearly gates"! 

This week was also the first day of school for Justin and Camron.  Justin is entering his sophmore year in high school and Camron started 1st grade at the "big" elementary school. 

 And finally, tomorrow will be the day that our oldest son leaves home for college.  He has been packing all week and taking care of last minute issues before moving.  Even though he will only be an hour away from home, it is a roller coaster of emotions for us.  We are excited for him as he starts this new adventure in life but at the same time, we fight back tears as we think about how our daily lives are going to change with him not sitting at the dinner table, playing the wii with Camo, throwing the baseball and arguing with Justin (lol) , or just sitting in the living room hanging out with his parents.  We pray for God's love, mercy, grace, guidance, wisdom and comfort as Ryan spreads his wings and departs from our "nest".  Our oldest "eaglet" is spreading his wings and about to take flight into this world.  Isaiah 40:31 "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." 

I know it sounds crazy and abnormal to hear of a family that has one son in elementary school, one son in high school and one son in college, but Rodney and I are blessed beyond imagination and our cup overflows!!  Thank you Lord for this life of mountains and valleys You are blessing us with!! 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect!

All through my elementary years in school, I can remember my teachers telling me "practice makes perfect".  The more you practice at something, the better you will be and eventually you will gain perfection at it.  Funny how as an adult, God is now using these words to affect my spiritual growth.

For the last couple of months, we have been studying in the book of 1 and 2 Samuel in our Sunday school class.  I have been so thankful for the lessons that God has been teaching me through Hannah, Eli, Saul, David, Uzzah and several others in the scriptures.  This past week's lesson really convicted me of my personal relationship with God.  How thankful I am that God continues to teach those who teach others, because we all have room for growth! 

Do we have and display "true" obedience and reverence for our Lord?  Do we "truly" acknowledge the bible as His living word and obey it or leave it laying around our home like any other book collecting dust? Do we attend church to enter "true" worship of God or just for show and routine?  Do we experience "awe and fear" when we approach God in prayer or are we so comfortable that we take Him for granted?  Do we say we won't sin but when we do excuse it with "God will forgive me because of His mercy and grace?"  I am sure we all could regrettably confess our lack thereof to any of these questions. I will admit that as a christian, I have justified my falling or stumbling with God's mercy and grace in the past.  I am guilty of saying "I am not perfect, only God is perfect and I make mistakes.  Of course we all know that God loves us and He does shower us with His mercy and grace.  I am not taking away from what He offers us, because after all, that is why He sacrificed His only son...for our sins. What I am trying to share comes from Matthew 5:48 "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."  I believe God is telling us to be as "perfect" as we can be with where we are spiritually.  We were created in His image and as He grows us to be more like Him, we are to adhere to His teachings.  If we have received instruction from His word and we know that something is wrong according to Him, then we should practice being obedient and obtain perfection of His instruction instead of excusing our disobedience with taking His forgiveness, mercy and grace for granted.  We Christians need to step up in this world!  We need to pray, encourage and hold each other accountable to be the example of Christ that we are called to be in order to reach a dying world.  The more we practice being obedient, the more perfection in Christ we will receive. We are a "work in progress" but we should strive to be "perfection in progress" for the Lord until He returns and we are made "completely" perfect in Him.

My purpose of this blog is not to discourage anyone, but to hopefully encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ for us all to practice, practice, and then practice some more being obedient in every way so that we would be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect. 

Remember: Practice makes perfect!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


We had our annual ladies retreat this past weekend and it was a blessing!  Over the last couple of days I have been reflecting back to things that took place and words that were shared by different ladies for the glory of the Lord.  Throughout the retreat, we put emphasis on sharing our life stories with others and how sharing what God has done in our lives impacts others.  On Saturday at the retreat, I shared my story.  A story of sin, misery, forgiveness, mercy and grace.  My prayer had been that God would use it to speak to some lady there that might be in need of hearing about the hope and forgiveness that God offers to all that surrender to Him.  To my surprise, God has used it to impact my life once again.  He used my story for me to reflect back on and to be reminded of how great He is!  It had been a while since I gave my testimony and God pricked my spirit immediately as I began to tell my life story to the women at the retreat. I found myself emotionally and humbly thanking Him for restoring my marriage and life. 

Yesterday I was approached by a young man from our church.  He was telling me that his wife had a wonderful time at the retreat.  As we talked, God spoke through him to remind me of something else.  He began to share with me that we don't always get to see the 'end' result of the seed that we plant for the Lord.  This young man was saying that you never know how, what or where God is going to use anything that was said or done at the retreat to further His kingdom.  I was very thankful to know that God had used the retreat to refresh my spirit and to just think about the unkown of His works for the other ladies was overwhelming. 

My encouragement for you today is that you would reflect back on your life.  Be reminded of where you were and where God has brought you.  Be diligent in living your life for the Lord. Don't take your relationship with Him for granted.  Be careful little eyes what you see...Be careful little ears what you hear...It's a slow fade when you give yourself away.  Remember:  People never crumble in a day, daddies never crumble in a day, and families never crumble in a day...It's a slow fade.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and don't be afraid to be set apart from this world to serve Him!

Blessings to you all...  

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Father's Love

As I spent time with my dad this past Father's Day, my mind was filled with memories of him from over the years.  One particular memory was when I was around 4 years old.  My dad was a farmer and was preparing to put pesticides on the crops.  As I stood by his side he said to me, "Tonya, do not touch this because it is poison." So, what do you think I did?...Yep, you guessed it!  I dug right into it with my hands.  My dad had turned his back just long enough for my curiosity to get the best of me and I gave into the temptation of doing the opposite of what daddy told me not to do.  When he noticed that I had disobeyed, he done as any father would and frantically yelled at me to get my attention.  By this time he was headed straight toward me and I knew just what was about to happen to me.  I took off running up the driveway and then onto the dirtroad with dad chasing behind.  When he finally caught me...well, you guessed it, I got a good old fashion spanking.  My dad was disappointed in me for disobeying him but he was more fearful of the harm that the pesticides could have caused me.  That day serves as the only time I can remember my dad spanking me.  From then on, all my dad ever had to say to me was my name (you know you are in serious trouble when your parent calls you by your first and last name).  Let me confess to you that even though this was the only time my earthly father spanked Heavenly Father has had to discipline me SEVERAL times. 

Often times God is warning us of things that may bring harm to us in our lives.  And regretfully, we let our curiosity or fleshly desires take over and we give into temptation.  Even then does God continue to call out to us.."My child, you know this is wrong...Please turn away from your sin...Trust that what I am saying to you is for your own Me in your struggles!"  But yet we still continue to run as fast as we can away from our heavenly Father just as I did with my dad.  Why do we run?  We run because we are trying to escape the guilt and conviction that is deep within us.  We think if we run far enough away, we can escape the pain of disappointment or the discipline that may come to us for our wrong doing.  Stop running away from God but run toward Him! Be showered with his love, receive his correction and turn from your sin.   

Hebrews 12: 5-6 "And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." 

Be encouraged in your time of discipline from the Lord by knowing that He loves you!

The Lord may give us much correction; It is all out of love because He wants the best for our life's direction!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Just for Moms!

Forgive me for not blogging much lately.  I was explaining to a friend the other day about how busy and crazy our lives have been lately.  We have a son who is a senior in high school and will be graduating in just a few weeks, graduation parties to plan, a son who is 15 and constantly putting me under stress while riding with him as he learns to drive, 3 sons playing baseball (two on high school level and one in T-Ball), sports and academic banquets to attend, a husband learning a new job in a new position, working a job outside the home on top of my wife/mom duties (which is very rewarding but with no pay), I teach a ladies Sunday School class every other month (thank you Jennifer for teaching the months in between), and I could just go on and on with other daily tasks!  Whew!  That took the breathe out of me just typing it! 

Now, let me tell you what makes all this worth while...a husband that loves and works hard to provide for his family as God would have him to, an 18 year old who still gives his mom and dad hugs and is not afraid to say I love you, a 15 year old with a LOT of personality that brings so much laughter to our home and a 6 year old that said to me last night "Mumma, will you always love me?  Even when I am grown? Even if I break something?" And mumma replied "Yes, baby..I will always love you" and then a big hug and kiss from him. And also, what a blessing to watch women from the sunday school class grow and allowing God to transform them before our eyes! As I thought about just how much I love my husband, children and others, I was reminded of the unconditional love that God gives each of us.  When we grow, He continuously shows and tells us how much He loves us, He alone brings so much joy into our chaotic lives, and even when we mess up He is always there to forgive and comfort us as He corrects us. So, whatever chaos your day may bring to you as a mother or in the Lord and sit at His feet while He feeds the one spiritually that "literally" will be feeding others today!

It may be a crazy life....but it is our life and with Christ that strenghtens us, we can do anything!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Weakness is Our Strength

How many of us actually like to admit our weaknesses?  We think it will somehow make us less of a person or show that we may not be as strong as others in certain areas of our lives. 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Just like Paul, there are times in my life when I am going through a  hard situation or dealing with my thorn in the flesh and I just cry out to God to fix it or plead for Him to take the hardship from me.  Through these scriptures God showed me that our weakness is our strength through Him.  To be weak means that one can get stronger. This reminds me of an example of my son.  I have watched my oldest son over the past year get in the gym and work really hard everyday to produce muscles and be stronger. He has strived to work harder in the gym to improve his abilities in baseball. He now throws harder as a pitcher and his batting has improved greatly. You see, Ryan's weakness was his strength. Instead of being captive to his weakness, he was determined to conquer it and become better.  The same goes for us in our weaknesses.  We can choose to be captive or we can choose to receive God's power to overcome.  It will take effort on our part just as it did with Ryan.  We have to work hard in becoming stronger.  We have to trust and seek God, allowing His power to work in our lives. 
God's grace is sufficient for you and me.  His power is made perfect and known in our weaknesses.  We know that without Him, we are weak....But with Him, our weakness can be made strong.

So, whatever weakness you may be dealing with, trust and seek God to grow you stronger.  Be more open to share your weakness with God and let His power rest on you to shine to others. 

I am weak, but He is strong!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How Great is our God!!!!

For 8 or 9 years my brother and his wife have prayed for another child.  Through the pain of several miscarriages, some really tough years in their marriage and a whole LOT of prayers from many,  God proved himself to them this past year.  Over the past year, God restored a broken home and then yesterday blessed them with a BEAUTIFL son.  Stephen Lane arrived in this world on March 29, 2010 at 5:59pm. I am overwhelmed with tears as I type this blog.  God never ceases to amaze me in His greatness!

Thank you Lord for the wonderful blessing of Lane to his mama and daddy, and to our whole family! Lord, I pray that everyone who is a part of Lane's life will not take it for granted of the instruction you give to each one of us for him.  We are all to be Christ's example and to have a part in his growing and maturing. Let us be everything You would have us to be in Lane's life. We thank you so much for this bundle of joy!  Amen.

Congratulations Ronnie,Becca and big sister Bethany!!  
Baby Lane....Aunt Tonya, Uncle Rock, Ryan, Justin and Camo love you very much! 

And just for the record....YES, I am a very proud aunt!!!!!  :-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cowgirl-Up for Christ!

Well, it is only Wednesday and this has already been a rough week but in the same breath a blessing! Through my troubles this week God has reminded me of a poem I wrote back in June 2009 for our ladies retreat.  I want to share it again because it has certainly renewed my spirit and I hope it will be of some encouragement to you. 

Cowgirl-Up for Christ

It is a spirit tried and true
Only Jesus can see you through
It is a decision to persevere and trust
Cowgirl-Up and follow the Lord
In this world we live is a must
It is being faithful in times of pain
Your labor in the Lord is never in vain
No doubt you will stumble and fall
Just get back up and keep walking tall
He is the way, the truth and the life
With Him, you can overcome any strife
Love the Lord with all your heart
In Christ name, Never be afraid to be set apart!

Until next time my dear friends....God Bless!!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Readers are Leaders!

My husband and I recently participated in a Financial Peace training by Dave Ramsey.  We learned so much from this course and man.  One thing that really jumped out at me during those 13 weeks was something he had quoted in our workbook during one of the lessons.  Simple but powerful "Readers are Leaders"! What I got from this quote was really nothing to do with money or finances...God used this quote to spark a different area in my life.  What kind of reader are you?  Do you read because you love to?  Do you read because you are forced to? Do you read because you feel obligated to read?  Or do you read because it is another item on your "To Do" list? Let me tell you I have never been one who just "loves" to read.  But what God has been showing me over the last couple of months is that reading is a GREAT benefit to me and others!  You see, no matter to what degree of a leader you are a leader to someone! Pastors leading churches, husbands leading families, mothers leading children, teachers leading students, supervisors leading workers, coaches leading players, players leading other players, older brothers and sisters leading younger ones, friends leading friends, see we are all leading someone.   The greatest book any of us could ever read, study and seek wisdom or guidance from would be the Bible.  This book covers any possible area of life that you can think of! There is so much for you and me to gain from this book.  The more you know...the more you grow...the more you grow...the more you show!  Let me encourage you to dig in and read from this book but only do it in a way that you desire to learn and receive a word from God.  Don't do it because it is an item on your "to do" list or because your friends are reading it in sunday school, read and study it because you desire to be the child of God that He uses in advancing His kingdom...leading one person at a time!

The more you read....the more you receive...the more you receive...the better you lead!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Lion's Den of Life

In my time with the Lord this morning, I was led to Daniel chapter 6.  Daniel was faithful, honest and always responsible!  What lessons we can learn from this man of God!  Daniel was constantly proving himself to everyone around him that not only did he "talk the talk" but he "walked what he talked"!  Daniel was faithful to pray to the Lord three times a day, every day.  Even when opposition came his way, he never waivered in his faithfulness to the Lord. 

So many of us face a lion's den daily.  It may be the den of drugs, den of alcohol, den of adultery, den of bad attitude, den of harsh words, and the list can go on and on.  These things make up the den of life.  Every day we have a face the den of lions and completely trust God to protect and help us overcome just as Daniel did or be devoured by the mouth of the lion (satan).  In Daniel 6:16 - As Daniel is being arrested and thrown into the den of lions, the king said to him "May your God, whom you worship continually, rescue you".  If you finish reading this chapter you will see that Daniel is recued from the den of lions.  God sends an angel to shut the mouth of the lions so that Daniel is not harmed.  The king releases Daniel and then declares that the people of his kingdom tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.  King Darius then acknowledges that God is a living God and that He will endure forever. King Darius was one of several kings that God used Daniel in their conversion to believing in the one true God. 

Daniel 6:27 "He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions." Just like God rescued Daniel, He will rescue you and me from our daily, lion's den of life.  Whatever you are facing today, trust God and allow Him to rescue you!   Rescue 911.....Your operator is God!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

No Pain ~ No Gain

I recently started an exercise routine at a local gym. I have mistreated my body so badly over the last couple of years and I am paying for it now. The pain of the workout is insane at times! There are moments when I am jogging on the treadmill or on the elliptical machine, that physically and mentally I feel as though I can't go on anymore. I continue to push through the pain as long as I can. When I first started, the push through time was not very long at all. As I continue the workouts, I have noticed that the enduring time is increasing. There is still pain but I can endure for a longer period of time now. Jogging five minutes without stopping may not seem impressive to most people but to me it was a major accomplishment!

I was spending some time with God the other morning and He led me to the book of Job. As I read several chapters, I could not help but to ask how Job handled all the pain and suffering that he was enduring. As I continued to read, God revealed that Job did mourn and get discouraged at times and was even rebuked by God during a time that God had given permission for satan to attack him. Job's wife did not help matters either during this time. She lost faith and became a nagging discouragement to him. (Lord, forgive us wives for nagging and discouraging our husbands at times when we think we know best). Even though Job was considered a faithful servant to God, God allowed these hard times for Job only to better him. In the end, Job had grown greatly in his relationship with God and God restored his losses and blessings.

We all have times on the mountain and times in the valley. Of course, we prefer to be on the mountain. But as I continue to study the book of Job, it is reminding me to see how important our time in the valley is for us. It takes that "independent" fleshly mind-set of ours and turns it into a "dependent on the Lord" mind-set and spirit. The time in the valley is when we really grow spiritually. Our spiritual health is just as important as our physical health. Either way, we have to sometimes endure pain and suffering to conquer the healthier and better result for our lives. I hope you will get up and get moving....exercise your spirit with the Lord and exercise your body for the Lord!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Salute to Sarge

This past week we lost a very dear and loyal friend. "Sarge" was of the canine family but was just as much a part of our family as any human. His sole job was to protect his owners and that he did very bravely!

Through the tragic death of our pet it has prompted several conversations with our six year old son (Camron) about if Sarge is in Heaven. Which led me to search scripture more and to dig deep into God's word about pets in heaven. Although, I have yet to find anything that directly states that pets will be heaven, I believe God has given some wisdom and comfort in my search. In Genesis, God did tell Noah to take his family and two of each animal on the Ark before He flooded the earth...God must have cared about the animals as well, correct? Revelations 5:13 "Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" - God's word states that all creatures will be praising and honoring God! Ecclesiastes 3:18-22 was really good reference as well. There were several other scriptures but these really spoke to my heart. Now, I know the bible was written for the salvation of mankind and even if it did say something directly about our pets, it would not do them any good because they can't read. But it is comforting to know that God created certain animals as pets for humans to love and bond with. When we love or hurt for our pets, God does too because He cares for us. He loves us and I believe He cares enough about us that in His AWESOME greatness, that He would be capable of having such a place for pets and animals in Heaven!

Until we see Sarge again, we salute him for his love and loyalty to our family...."Good Boy Sarge"!!! We love you and miss you greatly!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

In The Beginning

2 Cor. 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone and the new has come!"

In the beginning....,Thank you Lord for creating the heaven and the earth! But I would like to share about the beginning of a boy and girl. A girl named Tonya and a boy named Rodney. They fell madly in love with each other and started a life together. They had not been married very long when they welcomed their first son into the world. A few short years later, a second son was welcomed into the world and family. This boy and girl had not surrendered their life to Christ so it was not long before the world was eating them by the mouthful. Sin had taken over and the marriage was nearly doomed. Their lives were being destroyed right before their very eyes. God sent just the right people to speak through and use to help this couple. Because of their surrender to the Lord, Jesus Christ, God was able to heal and restore a broken marriage. God didn't stop with restoring their marriage..He amused them once more by blessing them with yet another son. By this time, God had really started a good work in Rodney and Tonya. God was taking the clay and molding it to His likeness and image in each of them. And they lived happily ever after.......

Correct, we are living happily in our marriage today but like anyone else, there are still times of trial and growth! We continue to lean on the everlasting arms of Jesus. God has blessed Rodney and myself beyond our dreams. We are so thankful for God healing our marriage and for blessing us with three wonderful boys. Ryan - 17, Justin - 15 and Camron (better known as "Camo") 6. I look forward to sharing future post with you regarding what God is doing in my life as a G.I.R.L (God Inspired Reborn Lady) and to hopefully encourage and inspire when God sees fit. Trust me, as a daughter of the King and with a house full of males...there is never a dull moment and God is always up to something!

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