Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How to avoid apologizing.

I've noticed lately that I'm averaging about one apology a week.  Minimum.

You see, I tend to be a little blunt. 

I also tend to think that I'm right - a lot. 

Turns out, I'm not as right as I think I am on a regular basis.

Imagine that.

Proverbs 12:18 says "There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

You see, when I just pop off with whatever runs through my head, I'm jabbing my friends and family with a sword.  I'm hurting them with my thoughtless words.  I'm being inconsiderate.  And I'm definitely not showing God's love to them. 

When I overhear my boys fighting, I always ask them to check their words.

Is what you're saying nice?  Is it necessary?  Does it glorify God?

You see, not everything that we have to say is going to be nice.  Sometimes, there are hard situations to face and those words will be necessary.

Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, I do feel that what I have to say is necessary.  I need to tell someone exactly what I think of them and the situation or I will explode!  Which means there's probably nothing nice in what I'm about to say.

But the standard that I have to measure my speech comes from number three.  Does it glorify God in my saying it?  You see, this is where I really need a pause button.  To stop and think before I speak. I need to ask myself if by what I'm saying, am I bringing others closer to Christ or driving them away?  When they see me do they say "I wish I had what she has (Jesus)" or do they say "If that's what Jesus does in her life, she can keep Him, I don't need that".

Psalm 19:14 is my prayer for my words:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Scripture Memory Team: November 2013.

Can you believe we're almost at the end of the year with our memory verse challenge? 

I don't know about you, but I have loved doing this. 

I think I'm going to continue this next year and just keep adding to my little box of note cards. 

This month's verse for me is Deuteronomy 10:21 -

"He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things, which your eyes have seen."

And while I love the words of this verse, I really love the context.  You see, this is after the children of Israel have left Egypt.  If you look up to verse 20, they're being instructed that they are going to serve and cling to the Lord because He is their God.  

How often do we come up against obstacles in our lives and start to fret? 

I do it.  I do it a lot.

Yet when I look back, I can see all these great and awesome things that the Lord has done for me.

Did you hear that? 


Just some little ol' gal in West Virginia. 

Not because of me or anything I can do. 

But just because I'm His. 

So the next time I'm facing a difficult situation - and there will be a next time - instead of worrying, I'm going to remember the great and awesome things that the Lord has brought me through. 

And know that He will do it again. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chocolate & Chuckles 2013.

Do you know that Chocolate & Chuckles is one of my absolute favorite outreaches that we do?

I mean, who doesn't like chocolate?  And who doesn't like laughing and having fun with friends?

You know this girl does!

But what really matters about C&C, what it really boils down to is the one thing that we all need:  Jesus.

It's a great opportunity to show Jesus's love to our friends, family and co-workers - many who wouldn't say yes to going to church with us, but have no problem going to a girls night out (which just happens to be at church, right?)

This year's event was a huge success all because of three beautiful new sisters in Christ who asked Jesus into their hearts and the overwhelming generosity of you lovely ladies who gave $1500 to Project Rescue in their fight against human trafficking.  For this girl, it's worth every bloody finger that Carrie & I had while cutting out those chandeliers.

So, who want's to see some pictures?


Thanks for your prayers, your support, your hard work - and of course, your desserts! 

Can't wait to do it again next year.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How Rich is Your Family?

If you have seen the movie Courageous, then you likely remember a scene that evoked a lot of inspiration. Javier, a humble construction worker, was struggling to make ends meet for his family. As he began to grow in the Lord, he and his friends developed a new spiritual resolve to better lead their wives and children. To commemorate a coming resolution ceremony, Javier bought a new suit, but then began second-guessing the expense. Still delighted with his purchase, his wife Carmen convinces him to put the suit on so she can see him wearing it. As Javier looks in the mirror, he mumbles, “I feel like a rich man.” Carmen wisely redeems the opportunity by speaking into her husband’s life and reminding him of what true riches are all about.

“You are a rich man! You have a strong faith, children that love you, and a wife that adores you.”

Her words demonstrate the importance of seeing life from God’s perspective and also of the great influence a wife can have in her husband’s life. We’ve spent the last few years challenging men to step up to spiritual leadership in their homes. We wanted to take a moment and challenge wives in their priceless place of influence as well. If women knew how much their words can build up or tear down the men in their lives, they may be shocked at the power God has entrusted to them.
The Bible says, “No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” – Eph. 4:29
Have you applied this verse to your marriage? Men are always “someone in need.” As you know, we need a lot of help. So we ask you, “Do you wisely affirm and strategically praise your husband or do you cut into him with your words and tones? Do your children sense rottenness or a fragrance of grace coming from your lips when you speak to the man who is the ‘Christ representative’ in your relationship” (Ephesians 5:22-24)? When men are treated with disrespect, they tend to either get angry and go on the attack, or they withdraw and start avoiding the source of their ridicule. Both are poisonous to a marriage.

However, men naturally try to please and spend more time with those who respect and praise them the most. When you speak to your husband “as unto the Lord” and support his leadership as best as you can, you draw his heart to your heart and help strengthen his resolve to take better care of you and your children. When you edify the man who is primarily responsible for your home, your entire family benefits.

Your husband may not deserve any of your praise. All men are sinful messes. We do not have it together. No man is worthy of the respect that God commands wives to give their men. But Christ is. And that’s why Christ should always be a wife’s focus and the never-changing inspiration behind her words, not the flawed male that forages around her house.

When a wife prays for her husband, encourages him, and walks alongside him, the Lord is pleased. And in many ways, she is a living portrait of the Holy Spirit in her husband’s life—who is also described as a Helper from God to him.

We pray not only for the men involved but also for the women who need their husbands to step up and lovingly lead in the home. Each of you is priceless and irreplaceable. We want your entire family to experience the rewards of bold men who fearlessly embrace the responsibilities God has given them, both now and for future generations.

We are so grateful that God is still using Courageous and The Resolution for Men to change families. We praise God that couples on the brink of divorce are finding reconciliation and restoration. Lukewarm men are turning into warriors for God. Young boys are stepping up into courageous responsibility. Many times, these stories result in direct answer to the prayers of a supportive wife or mom behind the scenes. May God bless you as you point your husbands and sons to Jesus with the beauty of your life and put fresh wind in their sails to go forward to be the men God is calling them to be.
The Kendricks, in partnership with LifeWay, have just released The Resolution for Men Bible study, an eight-week group curriculum that challenges men to love their wives with a Christ-like love and unpacks the twelve promises in The Resolution for Men book.

This post is from  You can find the original post here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

All About Church Face.

Oh, church face.

You know what I mean? 

That face you put on when you go to church.

That smiling, nice to see you face that goes so well with your favorite earrings and those great shoes.

The face that gives no hint to the fact that your family has made you crazy trying to get ready for church - including your son that can't find anything other than green flip flops to wear with their church clothes.

The face that we wear sitting comfortably in our pews - when maybe what we really need to do is lay it all down to Jesus at the alter.  (Not that we would go to the alter.  Someone might think we have problems.  And we can't have that, can we?)

 The face that makes you seem like you have it all together instead of being the hot mess who needs buckets full of grace from Jesus. 

I was reading Matthew 23 where Jesus is really letting the Pharisees and teachers of the law have it.  Brood of vipers, hypocrites, whitewashed tombs that look nice from the outside but are full of bones and unclean inside.  None of these are things that I want said of me.  Not by anyone, but especially not by Jesus! 

And while I do try my best to live for Christ, how many times have I avoided someone because I feel that they drain me or avoided making eye contact at church so I don't get drawn into their drama. 

Instead, I put on my church face and stroll through the halls saying good morning to the other lovely church faces smiling back at me. 

Makes me feel a little "white washed tomb-y".  

No, it makes me feel that way a lot.

Look at verse 23.  Am I following the "letter of the law" - keeping the big ten (commandments), praying, tithing, attending church - but forgetting to show others justice, mercy and faithfulness?  Is my "church face" or my fear of being real, of letting it be known that despite my best intentions and desires that I fail Jesus daily - is it keeping me from showing others who Jesus really is and how crazy in love with them He is? 

The thing is, it's OK to not have it all together.  I have a very strong suspicion that no one else in church has it all together either.  I'm actually pretty sure that no one really has it all together. 

Maybe, just maybe, instead of focusing on trying to make it seem like we have things under control, maybe we can drop our church face and hit our knees instead.  Praying for God to help us to show His love through us, using us to reach our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors - even enemies. 

You see girls, we don't have to be perfect. 

Which is good because there's no hope of that happening.

We just have to be willing.

And that I can do.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Scripture Memory Verse for October.

Everything is still a mess right now, huh?

The government is on shut down. 

So many are uncertain in their jobs. 

It's more than enough to keep a girl up late at night. 

When I'm tempted to worry - and I'm tempted to worry a lot - I have to ground myself with the word of God. 

This month's verse is Philippians 4:11-13

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Lord, help me to remember to be content whatever my circumstances and to rely on Your strength, not my own. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's Chili Weather.

I've been making this chili for a long time.  It's absolutely great.  I like to serve it as chili with cornbread on the day I make it, then save some for taco salads later in the week.  Nothing like a two fer, right?

I know there are a lot of ingredients, but it does come together quickly and the crock pot does the rest. 

2 pounds ground beef
1 (29 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (29 oz) can kidney beans with liquid
1 (29 oz) can pinto beans with liquid
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green chili's (I used canned)
1/4 cup diced celery
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp. cumin
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 1 /2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 cups water

Brown and drain the ground beef.  In your large crock pot, add the remaining ingredients.  Cook on low 8-10 hours. 

You can also make this on the stove, simmering for 3 hours and stirring every 15 minutes (that's just too much work for me).

I like to serve this with cornbread or top it with sour cream, cheese and green onion.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quit Comparing!

In the past few weeks in Bible study, we’ve been talking about worry and comparison and condemnation, as well as a few other topics. And driving home tonight, it made me realize that sometimes, when I read other blogs, I feel like everyone else has it all together. Like I’m faux Monet. From far away, everything looks great but up close it’s a big ol’ mess.

So I’d like to tell myself - and all of you - stop it. Just stop it. We all need to quit comparing ourselves to what we see on Facebook or Pinterest or other blogs. We need to quit comparing ourselves to the families that we see on Sunday morning at church who "have it all together". There’s only one person who should be our yardstick for how to live and that’s Christ.

So in the interest of being completely transparent and making sure you understand that just because I home school and garden and can and whatever else I choose to show you on this blog - understand that I do not have it all together. I don’t think that I ever will.

There are many Sunday’s that by the time I get to church, I really need to be in church because my whole family has made me stark raving loony trying to get ready and bad words have run through my head. There are days when I feed my family eggs and toast for dinner (again) despite my menu plans and Pinterest boards full of great meal ideas. There are days when the boys run around the house in their underwear all day (I don’t mind those days - it’s less laundry for me). I even once gave my boys Slimfast and a Fiber One bar for breakfast because I was running late for work and had no time. There are days when, by the time Ronnie gets home, I feel like I have been water boarded for the past eight hours and I just want to run away.

It’s OK. There are no perfect moms. It’s OK to admit this. We don’t need to be perfect. We don’t need to push our ideals on others or tout our accomplishments for the purpose of making ourselves feel better (and sometimes making others feel worse). What works for me won’t necessarily work for you and vice versa.

We need to understand that there is grace, not just for the big stuff, but for the small stuff too. Quit beating yourself up over your failures. Just stop. Take a big breath and realize that God’s grace is enough to see each of us through this crazy life we live. Quit comparing yourself to someone else’s ideal and just be the girl God has called you to be.

There’s really nothing better.

This post was originally published at

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I remember in my teen years, there was a popular saying, "What would Jesus do?" All of my Christian friends wore bracelets, t-shirts, etc., as reminders on how to react like Jesus on any decision or situation in their daily lives. Like with every other trend, they come and go, and soon are forgotten. 

Recently, I have started reading the book, "In His Steps," by Charles M. Sheldon. In the first few chapters it talks about a particular pastor that was forever changed by a homeless man who spontaneously spoke at his church. Without giving too much of the story away, the pastor decided to ask the congregation if anyone would like to take a pledge with him for one entire year not to do anything without asking the question, "What would Jesus do?" There was a small group of people who stayed and took the pledge. Over time, the group had come to the general consent that the "application of the Christ spirit and practice to the everyday life required a knowledge of Him and an insight into His motives that most of them did not yet possess." Basically, the people found it difficult to put Jesus into all of their decisions and tasks throughout the day. In the past, they felt they were making sound, Christ-like choices, until they made the pledge and after that, it seemed that most of their judgment calls did not satisfy the question, "What would Jesus do?

This had me thinking how many times in my day do I ask, "What would Jesus do?" Do you ask that question in your life? What would Jesus do with an annoying neighbor? What would Jesus do with a cranky husband? What would Jesus do with an over-filled schedule? What would Jesus do with a difficult co-worker? What would Jesus do with a sick loved one? What would Jesus do with the empty spaces in our day? What would Jesus do in your ministry? The questions could go on and on…. but the truth of the matter is how well do we know Christ to properly answer the question, "What would Jesus do?"

I hope this encourages and pushes all of you to search those moments in your day where you can go to God and have him make the decisions for YOU. Let us bring back the trend W.W.J.D. in a whole new way!


Jennifer Campbell

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Scripture Memory Team for September.....and a big ol' bucket of grace.

Last night in class, we were talking about how we struggle with being tired. So very tired. Anyone else with me on that one? Of course you are! I’m sure I’m not the only one with an overwhelming to do list. 

Confession: Sometimes I write drink coffee on my to do list so I have at least one thing crossed off by the end of the day.

We focus so hard on what we think we should be..... what we think others expect from us...... looking around at other people who seem to have it all together. .

My verse this time is Psalm 121:1-4

I look up to the mountains - does my help come from here?
My help comes from the Lord who made Heaven and Earth.
He will not let you stumble and fall.
The one who watched over you will not sleep.

Don’t you see? He’s not going to leave us in our tiredness. Even when we’re tired, God is not. It’s not up to us to keep ourselves from stumbling and falling. He says it’s His job.

And that ladies, is the essence of grace. Big buckets full of grace. His hand on our life, working in us and through us, never leaving us in our tiredness. God’s grace is about transformation. He sees us for who we are but He doesn’t leave us there. He sees your possibility and is moving you forward daily toward the person He designed you to be.

How about we focus less on our to do lists and tiredness from trying to keep up with unrealistic expectations and more on just being who God wants us to be?

I’m pretty sure His to do list for me is better than mine.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Guest post: Rebuilding Burnt Bridges

Plank by plank we build but it only takes one flame to burn the whole thing down.

You know what I mean.  We spend time investing in others.  Having lunch and babysitting each others children.  Spilling our life out to them when we are hurting.  Trusting each other.  Praying together.  Then Satan steps in while we're not watching.  He plants little embers of pain and lies.  You know what they are, you've seen them, heard them.  Then one day or one minute, he lays the tender on those embers and a fire begins.  A bridge burns.  Words are said, or not.  Pain is sewn and reaped.  Maybe we are justified in our anger or hurt but does that make it right.  What happened to "turn the other cheek" and "forgive 70 x 7"?  It seems we only pull those scriptures out when dealing with unbelievers.  But what about our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Don't they deserve the same grace and mercy...and forgiveness.

How can we be effective for God with all the bridges to and from us burnt.  We can't function as an island with no way in and no way out.

I can recall every time I've lost it and burnt a bridge and I can recall every silent burning.

This past week I lost it.  And the sad thing is, I lost it on a nonbeliever.  Did it feel good at the moment?  Yes.  I was tired of my family constantly being attacked.  Was it justified?  Maybe.  I apologized but my witness to them may have been damaged.  I know that God can still fix it but...

Sunday a family walked into our church that used to be great friends.  She was the first person I met when I moved to Fairmont and she knew every ugly thing about me and never judged me.  She prayed with me on so many occasions I can't even count.  Something happened (won't go into detail) and we haven't spoke for probably 5 years.  When she walked in Sunday, God brought all of this post to my attention.  I want to mend that bridge and with God's help, I will.  Because it is true we live in a double standard world but it goes both ways.  I'm tired of pointing the finger.  I am ready to step up and take responsibility.

Are there bridges that need rebuilt in your life?  No, it won't be easy because we have to lay down our pride and admit that we might have been wrong.  But with God's help, all things are possible.

 Until next time, stay blessed.

This is a guest post by Tracey Moore who blogs at Building My House.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ladies Bible Study

I’ve spent many years looking for the perfect pair of jeans. You know the ones that will bring hope and life to all we hope and long to happen in a pair of jeans. We search high and low for a good pair of low rise, easy on the eyes, sturdy on the thighs pair of jeans, and we have bought quite a few pairs, but are still looking for the pair of jeans.

And it’s the same when we look at the rest of our lives. What we desire is not necessarily what we have. Who we are isn’t really the person we want to be. Just as the perfect jeans seem to elude us, so do the obedient children, the perfect marital communication, and the conquering of all our weaknesses.

It seems like despite all our churchgoing and devotional reading, the weaknesses seem to be conquering us. So not only have we not found the perfect pair of jeans, but we are still struggling with anxiety and pride and an incapacitating love for chocolate.

It seems we supergirls need some forgiveness in other areas of our lives besides jeans and outerwear. We need forgiveness in our lives in general.

Join me and other supergirls as we combat sneaky nemesis like Tired Lady, Compare-a-girl, Mrs. Prideful and others with the most powerful weapon on Earth - God’s Truth.

The class starts September 4th and is based on the book All I Need is Jesus and a Good Pair of Jeans by Susanna Aughtmon. You can download it from Amazon or B&N or print copies available for $8, but not required.  You can sign up at the Welcome Center, message me here or just drop by.    

Thursday, August 22, 2013

10 Ways to Meet Women Where They Are.

We’re constantly trying to find new ways to reach women where they are, and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult. As culture shifts, so do the needs of women. No matter what your age may be, women are still women and we are always going to need other women in our lives. Here are 10 ways to meet women where they are:
  1. Don’t assume anything. We often look at women and assume that they already have enough friends or they don’t have enough time. Looks can be deceiving! Maybe she has a lot of acquaintances, but is longing for a real friend. It could be you!
  2. Ask. Ask her to go places with you and be in your life. The worst thing they can do is say “No.”
  3. Keep asking. Unless someone tells you to stop asking, keep extending the ask. Sometimes it just takes a few attempts and the right thing to grab her attention. Don’t just quit asking because she turned you down the first time.
  4. Do life together. One of the sweetest parts of friendship is knowing the day-to-day happenings of the other women in your life. The mundane can be, well, mundane, and it  can be so much more rich in community. This also happens in the good, the bad, and the ugly times. Life is messy, and we all need other women in our lives who just know us to walk with us through it all.
  5. Be real. Last week, I heard Pete Wilson (pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville) say, “Authenticity is the cry of all, but the game of few.” While we often claim authenticity, we still try to prove ourselves and often end up being someone we’re not. Just be you, and she’ll love you for it.
  6. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Some of my dearest friends are ones that I initially thought I had nothing in common with, but was so wrong. When my friend Christie and I met while I was in college, she was a newlywed and I learned that she had majored in math in college. I was single, and lets just face it, I still hate math. I literally thought we had nothing in common except for Jesus, but boy, was I wrong! Nine years later, I’m in the airport waiting to board a plane to visit her and her family (5 kids!) and couldn’t love her more, even though our everyday lives look so different.
  7. Pray for her. Don’t just ask how you can pray for her… actually pray for her and pray with her if the Holy Spirit leads you to. Be willing to go to battle with her through prayer, whether she ever knows it or not.
  8. Speak truth. The truth can hurt, but find ways to speak it in love. Be honest, but be kind in how you approach challenging conversations and situations. It can feel risky, but seek the Lord before you speak. Make sure you’re not speaking out of your flesh, but you’re listening to the Holy Spirit. My closest friends are the ones who are willing to speak truth into my life.
  9. Love her right where she is. It’s not our job to fix anyone or change her, but we are called to love her. Be the kind of woman who is steadfast in her life, whether she has a relationship with Jesus or not. Walk with her, pray for her, and just love on her.
  10. Be Jesus to her. Take her a meal. Watch her kids. Listen to her. Cry with her. Laugh with her. Show up. Just be there. When you can, put your needs aside and just be Jesus to her. You don’t have to provide answers or a solution, but point her to the One who can.
At the end of the day, we are called to meet other women at the point of their need. Philippians 2:1-8 paints a beautiful picture of how to treat the people in our lives. If we truly are putting the needs of others above our own, it will show through our actions. Our role is to step in, stand in the gap, and offer them a cold cup of water in the name of Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:42). We often over-complicate things that are really simple, and sometimes it just takes one step in the right direction on our part. It might be hard, but it’s absolutely worth it.

Mary Margaret headshot

Mary Margaret is an Event Project Coordinator on the Church Education Ministry team at LifeWay. She works alongside Chris Adams and coordinates training events for women’s ministry leaders like YOU Lead and the Women’s Ministry Forum. Mary Margaret has served several churches in the area of Girls Ministry and she recently completed a Master of Arts in Christian Education at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In her spare time, she writes for Story of My Life - her personal blog.

You can find the original LifeWay post here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

His Perfect Word That Gives Freedom.

I wanted to share this blog post from LifeWay Blog.  Enjoy!

On our flight home from the Living Proof Live event in Long Beach, California, the Lord orchestrated an event that prompted this guest post.

I was sitting at the back of this nearly full plane when a lady approached me, asking if the seat next to me was taken. It was not.  As I stepped into the aisle so that she could move into the row, I noticed she was holding Beth Moore’s “James: Mercy Triumphs” member book.

I couldn’t believe it.  Of the thousands of people who travel daily through Los Angeles International Airport, and the one God ordained to sit next to me on this flight, it was a woman doing Beth’s new study.

That, of course, launched us into a lot of discussion on the four-hour flight home.  And it ended with me asking her if she’d be willing to share her story here. And she agreed.

It’s important to note that she wasn’t even in California for the Living Proof Live event; she was there on business (as you’ll read below).

Please allow me to introduce you to our LifeWay Women friend, Rebecca Moffitt!


Guest Post by Rebecca Moffitt 

God answers prayers.  
I don’t know about you, but I needed to read that.
I was aware of that truth from God’s Word and the Bible studies I’ve done, but I didn’t think that it was always true when it came to MY struggles and me.
I believed it was true for all my friends, but, in my heart, I somehow thought that maybe it wasn’t true for me.

But I kept praying and seeking and asking… especially over the last year and a half.  I was praying for freedom. I knew God wanted me to be free, but I wasn’t getting it. I’ve had many strongholds in my life – one in particular I’ve never been entirely free from.

There were seasons when I felt free and didn’t actively participate in that particular stronghold, but it was just hibernating. I knew it was there, and it scared me.  Then, I’d take it out and spend time with it a little, like an old friend, and then wrestle with it to go away yet again…over and over. I was in pain and confused. I would think to myself, “Maybe I’m not really saved,” “Maybe I’m a lost cause and just too weak,” and “Why isn’t God removing this?”

And then the women’s ministry at my church was getting ready to start Beth Moore’s “James: Mercy Triumphs” Bible study.

Becky (in the middle) standing with her Bible study friends Susan (left) and Tammy (right).

I love Bible studies, especially Beth Moore’s, and I was hungry to get into the Word, so I signed up. In the first class, our leader told us that we’d have to choose which level of the study we wanted to do. Level 1 was just showing up and watching the video, level 2 included the daily homework, level 3 included physically writing out the book of James, level 4 included extra reading, and level 5 included memorizing the entire book of James. We were supposed to commit to a level at the next class.

But I’m a busy woman.  I work full time and am a mother and a wife. I decided to sign up for level 3. I shared my decision at the next class and even said that the memorization was for less busy overachievers and not me. I even said that I used to be that person but now I know better.
Ugh.. My rebellion was showing up again, to say the least.
I was faithful and did my homework every night, and I loved it.  But I kept feeling this “tugging” at my heart that I needed to do the memorization. And it wouldn’t let up. Then, I thought about all of my prayers and asking God for freedom. Perhaps this was God wanting to answer my prayers, and I needed to listen and obey.

So I decided, about two weeks into the class, to start memorizing the book of James. I memorized a verse a day, and, miraculously after the first month, I had the first chapter memorized.  I kept going, second chapter memorized, kept going…(and still working on it).  But that’s not the real miracle.
The miracle is what happened (and is still happening) in my mind. It’s like the links of my chains began to fall off, one at a time. Where I used to worry, I have peace. Where I used to be suspicious, I have certainty that all is well. Where I used to dwell on my stronghold, I now forget to think about it.
Verses like,  ”…But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed,” (that was me!) and, “…Humbly accept the word planted in you which can save you,” began living and working within me!

I have an amazing new weapon in this battle.  The memorization worked to occupy my mind when I replaced those negative thoughts with my daily scripture.  James says, “…Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin…” Well, desire didn’t have a chance to conceive when I had my weapon,  ”The Sword of The Spirit,” at hand and was willing to use it. I’m an analyzer (can’t you tell?) so I don’t want to over analyze how this process began freeing me in a way I’ve never been free before, but God was answering my prayer and showing me the power of “His perfect word that gives freedom.”  

Recently, I had to give a presentation in front of a large audience at a prestigious hotel in California. I am not a public speaker and normally would have been sick with nerves and anxiety. The worst part was waiting, with my mic on, to walk up on stage. I had to wait all the way through one presentation.  I did not allow myself to think about it. I just started with James 1:1 and recited all of my memorization over and over again. When it was my turn, I was calm and gave the best presentation of my life. I couldn’t believe it.

God is faithful.

I hope I’m not giving the impression that this is all about the act of memorizing because that is not the case.  It’s about God and His word.  It’s about my obedience and His love and mercy. I never want to stop memorizing scripture because I want to have victory in this battle, and I desire to be a servant God can use. I want His word to truly abide in me.  It’s my medicine, my freedom, my hope, my answer. I thank God for it. God must love us to give us such a treasure. 

And I thank Beth for sharing her wisdom with me and teaching me! God has used her books and studies to change me and help me grow. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to share this testimony with others. That is something that humbles me because God asked me, a weak, sinful woman, to speak of Him for just a moment.  If you are struggling and confused, I hope this will encourage you to not stop praying and seeking. God will bring answers. He will show you the way.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Women of Faith 2013.

What happens on a Women of Faith trip, you ask? 

Well, let me just tell you.

Start with a bus full of wonderful (some wacky) women.

Prepare for the day with some brisk Prancercizing.
Mix in some good friends.
Add a little sweet.
And more than a little sass.

Make some new friends.  Like Mac Powell from Third Day.

(I'm fairly certain these two were shooting a shampoo commercial with their long luxurious manes.)

Hang out with your new BFF, Lisa Harper. 

Worship God!

And have a blast! 
Hope you can make it next year!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New Beth Moore Study Starting September 4th.

Ladies, are you ready to begin another Beth Moore study?    Beginning on Wednesday, September 4th we will open our Bibles to the Book of Revelation and follow Beth Moore in her 11-week DVD lecture style series of "HERE and NOW---THERE and THEN".    

During these one-hour and fifteen minute sessions, Beth will translate some of our greatest God-fearing scholars' commentaries and perspectives into laymen's terms and applications.
Note that our Fall Woman to Woman Bible Study will have a new format this time around.   Firstly,  our weekly meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m.     Participants may place their order with us for a Listening Guide & Weekly Assignment Book  ($10).  Homework will consist of reading along in the chapters of Revelation and answering 5-7 questions during the course of the week and recording personal revelations of God that you've experience or witnessed during the week.    Since this is a lecture series, we will not be holding small group sessions.   Coffee and refreshing water will be available each night.   And, our meetings will conclude promptly at 8:30 p.m.
Our featured memory verse during our study will be from Revelation, Chapter 17, Verse 14:   
"They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords, and King of kings -- and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers." 
To register for this study and receive the listening guide/assignment book, just sign up at the Welcome Center.   You'll be registered and you can pay for your book on September 4th.
Hope you can join us for this study series!
Looking for my own personal revelations of God,

Debbie Starn

Monday, August 12, 2013


Passionate Living.


Why do I have to be so stubborn?

Wouldn't life be easier if I just listened the first time? 

For a while (ok, a long while) God has been nudging me.  Wait, not really nudging, more like pushing. 

Hard.  Really hard. 

You see, I've been spending the past decade saying the right things and living the way I knew I was supposed to but I lost my passion. 

Before our daughter Grace died, I was passionate.  Passionate for God.  Passionate for His presence, for His word.  Passionate to let others know how much He loves them. 

After we lost her, I was so angry.  I felt betrayed.  Somewhere along the line, I began to think that it was my passion that led to her loss.  Like by being passionate, I had painted a giant bulls eye on my back.  And while God & I eventually worked things out and I let go of my anger, I think I subconsciously started flying under the radar.  I prayed, I read my Bible, attended church - I've always loved God.  But it wasn't that whole hearted, passionate, can't wait to be in Your presence love.  It was easier than putting everything out there just to be hurt.  It was safe.  It was just enough to keep that bulls eye off my back again. 

I was kind of a hot mess, right?  But here's the thing.  God loves hot messes.  And while I was playing it safe, He continued to passionately woo me, just as He always has and always will. 

2 Timothy 1:7 tells us "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind". 

You see, my job is but to passionately love my Lord and speak what He tells me to, remembering that He is trustworthy despite what's going on in my circumstances.  I don't need to be afraid.

The enemy can attack, but he can not win.

He can't steal away my passion.

Don't you know?

I am a daughter of the King.

And my Daddy won't stand for that.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

August Scripture Memory Team

Well, how did you do with last months verse? 

This month's verse is actually the verse of the day at Bible Gateway.  It's a great reminder to me that my actions have purpose.  I may not be a missionary to a foreign country, but I can shine my light through small actions - I can be a light to the world around me.  I can show the world around me that Christ lives in me not just in words, but in the way I interact with those I come in contact with.   

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:14,16

Monday, July 22, 2013

Scripture Memory Team: The Forgotten Summer.

Seriously?  I know I've been a little quite blog wise, but I haven't posted or memorized a verse since the first part of June?  Yikes!

Here's my July verse:

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Please show me a little grace for being so lax with our blog. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Fun Night!

Tomorrow's the day!

If you follow on Facebook, you already know that tomorrow is our girls night at the church. 

Here's the breakdown:

7:00 – Hang Out & Fellowship Time
7:30 – Roast Hot Dogs
           Menu: Hot Dogs, Pasta Salad, Chips, Dessert, 
8:00 – Volley Ball
8:45 – Devotion/ Worship
9:30 – Movie Time/Popcorn/Smores
The only thing you need to bring is a change of clothes for the slip & slide.....well, and your friends!
Let's say a prayer for great weather and responsible babysitters and I'll see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Scripture Memory Team: Our June Verse.

Forgive me!  I didn't post this yesterday. 

This is my verse for the next two weeks:

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
                                                                                             1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

We need to encourage one another not just through the big things, but the little ones too.
Why not send a note to someone on the prayer list letting them know you're thinking about them?  Visit someone in the nursing home who would love some company (or a manicure!). 
Pick some flowers from your back yard and take them to the overwhelmed young mom next door.
Tell your child's Sunday School teacher thanks for taking the time to serve our kids.
Take a cold glass of tea to your husband while he's working outside.
Call your mom - just because. 

Honestly, the list could be endless.  The point is, not just to memorize our verses, but to let God's word permeate our lives and change us. 

Speaking of encouraging, have I told you lately I think you girls are great?  I really do!

And don't worry if you haven't been memorizing verses each time.  Start slow.  Start now.  Try just one a month - heck, even one a year!  Share below what verse you're working on. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Workshop Series.

I have a great idea to share with you today!

Liz DeRoos has organizes a great Summer series for us.  It's open to all and the classes are either free or very reasonably priced. 

It's a great opportunity to learn a new skill. 

Here's what's planned so far:

June 6th at 10 am: 

Cheese making with Emily Lewis.  There is no cost for this class.  It will be a "take and taste" style class where we will learn how to make hard and soft cheeses.


Saturday, June 15th, time TBA:

Soap making with Beth Anderson.  We will offer lavender, rosemary, happy camper, and patchouli orange oatmeal.  The price is $10, and they get to take home 10 bars of soap.

Saturday, July 13th at 9am:

Canning basics with yours truly.  Ronnie & I will go over the basics of pressure canning as well as BWB canning.  Cost is $5 for produce and you'll need to bring 6 quart jars with rings and new lids.

Also on the horizon is Basic Blogging with Selena Campbell and Herbal Remedies with Barb Barker. 

I am honestly so excited for these classes! 

If you're interested in joining any or all of the classes, just let myself or Liz know.  You can message me here or on Facebook, call or just stop us at church.  The classes are open to all. 

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Squash and Rice by Joni Retton.

Hello!  This recipe is an old family favorite my great uncle Frank
Gearde taught me to make when I was in college.  Serve with a salad and good
bread for a perfect meal.

Squash and Rice

Put a little olive oil in large pot.  Add:  1small onion chopped and 1 clove
garlic , crushed.  Saute a few minutes (do not let garlic burn).  Then add:  3
small sliced, peeled zucchini (can slice in circles or half moons) and chunks of
2 bell peppers.  Add 1 can sliced, stewed tomatoes or diced tomatoes (14.5 oz),
1 small can tomato paste, 2 paste cans of water, 1 bay leaf, salt and pepper. 
Cover and simmer 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook 1 cup rice in water or broth--regular or brown.  Remove bay leaf
from squash and add rice, fresh basil (I use the kind in a tube when I do not
have fresh) and Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

Thanks Joni for sharing!  Now I can't wait for my zucchini to come in!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Extreme Home Makeover: Servolution Style.

Good morning ladies!

I can't wait to share some great photos with you today. 

Last week, Tammy rallied the troops and through your generosity and some super hard workers, we were able to bless a sister in Christ by completely furnishing and stocking an apartment for her and her daughter as they moved out of the mission.  I just love watching God work through his people!

Here's some before pics:

 And after:

Serving and loving others is what we are called to do.  
Thank you for showing Christ's love!
Matthew 25:35-40
35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sandwich Spread made from Leftover Meat.

Here’s one more way to use leftovers from Sunday’s Pot Roast Dinner! Any cooked meat could be used to make this Sandwich Spread. I often make it from leftover beef roast as you can see in the ingredients listed below, but I’ve also used cooked pork, chicken and turkey or I suppose any combination would work nicely.
Making sandwiches from your fresh roasted meat is better than any processed meat that you can purchase. It also makes good sense to cook extra meat to use in making things like this sandwich spread for other meals. It’s also quite convenient to carry these sandwiches to school or work to avoid the expen se of eating out.


4 cups cubed cooked meat

1 small onion, quartered

1 cup sweet pickle relish

1/2 cup or so of Miracle Whip salad dressing **

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp seasoned salt

1/4 tsp celery seed

1/8 tsp pepper

** To substitute plain mayo just add a little mustard.


1.    First, I put the beef and onion through a grinder with a coarse blade. If you don’t have pickle relish or pickle chunks, put pickles through grinder with meat and onions. Of course, you could use the food processor to mix up the meat, onions and pickles. But, I started using a food grinder before I owned a food processor and I believe it works very well.

2.   In a large bowl, combine the Miracle Whip, Worcestershire sauce, salt, celery seed, and pepper. Stir in the meat mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3. Spread on bread or buns and add cheese, tomato and/or lettuce — it’s all up to you and your taste.

4.  This is a good spread for crackers to accompany a gelatin salad. It could also be scooped onto a garden salad for a light lunch.


This guest post was written by Betty Trobaugh who really enjoys cooking and baking as well as sharing recipes. See her cooking tips and recipes on her FaceBook page for Today's Baker.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

We need your help!

I have a wonderful opportunity for us to serve "Servolution"... There is a lady that has been attending Trinity with her 4 year old daughter that has been living at the Union Mission. Next weekend she is moving into an apartment. This is where we come in. Let's decorate and set up her apartment for her and her little girl. I would love to get a team of Ladies together and paint and set up her new home. She is needing anything and everything. Here is a list of things that I am thinking of. Also, I will need man power to make this happen.
How many are with me? Please, don't limit this project to women only, lets get our husbands involved.

Kitchen: Dish rags, pots n pans, utensils, curtains, mixer, toaster, silverware, plates, glasses, bowls, food, water pitchers, etc

Dining ...Room: Table n chairs, pictures, place mates

Living Room: Couch, Chair, table, curtains, pictures, etc

Girls Bedroom: (I have a twin bed and mattress) bed spread, pillows, sheets, pictures, toys, baby doll, clothes (not sure size) dresser

Mothers Bedroom: bed, mattress, sheets, bed spread, pillows, pictures,dresser

Bathroom: towels, wash rags, soap, shampoo, picture, rugs

Supplies: Paint, cleaning supplies, donations

*Please remember this stuff can be anything your not using around your house. Any yard sale items that you were gonna sell, Goodwill has really nice dishes. Let's be creative and pray that God will bless our efforts and make this new home, "Home Sweet Home" for two very special people.

Many Blessings,
Tammy Walker

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What the heck is Servolution?


To initiate a complete and radical change of a persons life through simple acts of kindness for the glory of God.

God's Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven.
A church revolution through serving.

Here's the thing - we all think that reaching our community takes a ton of time and resources that we don't have.  I mean, don't you need a theology degree or something official to really reach people for Christ? 
But think back to what brought you to church.  I was raised in church, but things happened and - well, let's just say I didn't go to church anymore and I had a big chip on my shoulder towards churches, Trinity in particular..  Do you know how I came back to Trinity?  An act of kindness.  My friend Wilma and her family helped me move.  They also refused to let me pay them - in money anyway.  She agreed to help me move, if I would come to church with her.  She loved me when I was pretty unlovable.  And she let me around her kids despite my trashy mouth.  I don't know that I would have done that.
The point is that it doesn't take anything more than what you already possess:  God's love and a desire to love people. 
That is Servolution.  Taking a meal, washing a car, cutting grass - none of this is rocket science.  It's just showing love to those who might not even realize they need it. 
Instead of just nodding during announcements and thinking to ourselves "Well that's a great idea for the young people", let's actually do something this year.  Let's each challenge ourselves to serve our community at least once this Summer.  It's just once.  Imagine if each and every one of us that attends our church took just one day - and it's not even a whole day - to show God's love to our community.  Wow!  I can't even imagine the impact that would have on our area, can you? 
Instead of thinking that someone else will do it, let's each take the initiative to call the church and say "I'm in".  I want to help.  Nothing that is being done is really that hard - picking up trash, painting, mowing the grass (although I'll admit, I don't see myself signing up for the grass).  The point is we can each do something.  Who knows what kind of plans will happen this Summer, but let's get involved. 
Let's show God's love one little act of kindness at a time. 
Servolution.  I like that.  How 'bout you?


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Scripture Memory Team

Oh girls.  Forgive me.  I forgot to post our verse for the next two, no, week and a half. 

As I was working in the garden last Friday , I couldn't stop noticing the beautiful clouds.  Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this verse on Pinterest this Sunday:

And right after our Night of Redeemed worship on Friday!  
Don't you just love when God does that?
This is my verse for this time. 
Don't forget to comment below and let me know your verse. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Guest Post: Thankless Jobs

How many times have I heard that being a mom is a thankless job? At least a couple times, ha. And moms work hard. It melts my heart when one of my boys says, unprompted, "Thank you, mama," (to be honest, I get melty even when I have prompted them, because they're still little enough that it's adorable to hear them say it). And when Adam tells me thank you, it warms me to know that he's noticing and he appreciates.

The problem comes when I start expecting and anticipating that thanks or praise. Don't get me wrong-- I think noticing the things spouses do for each other or kids being respectful are both important. But I notice my attitude turning sour and bitter if I start thinking that I deserve that thanks and praise.

I read a story in Luke the other day that I honestly don't remember ever reading before. Maybe that was one of the reasons it stuck out to me. The other reason was just what I was talking about above. Here's the passage:

“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
Luke 17:7-10

Whaaaaat. This is Jesus talking, by the way, not a Pharisee criticizing him for being kind to someone's servant or something. This passage has been stuck in my heart ever since I read it and I'm still meditating on it. I think I'm learning but I am definitely not perfect about this.

How often do I get myself into a vindicative, sour spirit when I feel like I'm not getting enough help or praise? More often than I'd like to admit. How many times am I frustrated with young kids being...well, young kids, instead of getting along so my day goes smoothly?

On one hand, I could say, well, I signed up for this mom and wife thing, so that passage applies to me. But maybe you didn't. Maybe you weren't planning on being a mom right now and you are anyway. Maybe you imagined married life looking different and you didn't really sign up for what it's become for you. Maybe you don't have a spouse OR kids, but at least a couple times a week you bitterly think to yourself, "Well, I'm done with this ministry. I don't think anybody sees what I do. Nobody understands how much effort it is."

And I'm here to tell you (and myself), with love: Shut. Up.

I too often find myself worshipping at the altar of MY FEELINGS. You know what? I did sign up for this. I signed up for this when my heart recognized my brokenness without Christ, and my ultimate utter destruction and hopelessness apart from Him. I signed up to be His servant out of my great obligation, out of my love for Him who loved me first. On some level, where you are is exactly where God called you to be, and in that we must strive to serve in love because our model is the Love that gave up Heaven for us, to die on a rough and bloody cross. What if Jesus had given up and fallen into disobedience and spite because the disciples weren't thanking him enough? What if, when only one of ten lepers had run back, he'd said, "Well, I'm out."

Are you tired? Are you weary? I am. But you know what? I could be getting more sleep, if I'm totally honest with myself. I can say no to some optional things for my own entertainment, or to things I don't actually need to be doing even though saying no makes others a little unhappy. But in my home, my first ministry to my own tiny heathens, I am without a doubt called. Wherever you are, in that pursuit of the ministry that tugged your heart or fell into your lap, you are called.

There are times when we need rest and God gives us rest. There are times when we need shelter and God gives us shelter. There are times when God gives us a swift kick in the rear to move us away from indulgent, flesh-pleasing attitudes, and this passage was one of them for me.

I've been reflecting on Downton Abbey lately. There are lots of problems with the social class system we could point to; there are certainly lots of flaws in the system. But the thing that keeps striking me (and I remember the same thing standing out to me in Jane Eyre) is the acceptance of position. There's a general cultural attitude in the servant class about an unwillingness to expect praise or feel like they are owed things. Duty is important. I find that attitude admirable.

God doesn't owe me anything. My husband and kids don't owe me anything, even if I'd like to think that they do sometimes.

I am a servant. This is my duty. I gave up my delusion of personal rights the day that I recognized that I am not my own. Am I living like it? May my heart's response to the work before me and completed by my hands be, "I am an unworthy servant. I have only done my duty!"
Thanks to Audrey Simmons for sharing.  Check out her blog at Everything Beautiful.