Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Bible Study Time.....

Summer is almost over and it is time to start thinking about Fall Bible Studies.  Below is a list of what is being offered this fall at FBC.  You can sign up online or in the Connection.

Begins Sept 11, 4:00-5:30pm
Finding Freedom from a Broken Past    $8  
Women of Faith, (12-week study)
Facilitated by: Lynda Dodd

Begins Sept 12, 6:45-8:00pm
Putting on a Gentle and Quiet Spirit      $6
Elizabeth George, (10-week study) 
Facilitated by: Laurie Zakarian
Begins Sept 14, 9:30-11:30am
One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land   $12
Priscilla Shirer, (7-week study)
Facilitated by: Denza Williams & Barbara Daughety
Lord, I’m Torn Between Two Masters   $10
Kay Arthur, (10-week study)
Facilitated by: Ronda Murray
We Believe?  $5
Kelley Mathews, (11-week study)
Facilitated by: Kelley Mathews
A Look at Colossians        $5  
Terri Phillips, (8-week study)
Facilitated by: Terri Phillips
The Key to Living by Faith    $5
Kay Arthur & Pete De Lacy, (11-week study)
Facilitated by:  Teri Ussery
A Mom after God’s Own Heart     $13         
Elizabeth George
(Mom Matters, 11-week study)
Teacher: Dr. Melissa Ewing, Minister to Children
Facilitated by: Gina Hammack & Suzanne Taylor

Monday, July 18, 2011

Grandma's Words

“You’ve always been strong-willed.” Grandma’s words stung as my wounded heart wilted for a moment. Searching for understanding, I shared my dismay at her characterization of me, her oldest grandchild, and asked her to explain. “It’s not a bad thing,” she clarified. “Ever since you were a little girl, you knew what you believed. And once your mind is set, it will not be swayed. You are strong. I have never worried that you would lose your way.”

It was one of the last conversations I had with my grandmother this side of Heaven. Shortly after, she lost her battle with cancer and God took her home to be in His presence. For years, when I reflected on our exchange, my heart hurt just a little. At the time, I wasn’t sure she knew me at all. Back then, I didn’t feel strong. I didn’t know which way to go. Life for me, a young woman in my early twenties, was filled with uncertainties. At times, I felt as though I had completely lost my way. Nothing was going as I had planned. Most of the time, the world made me want to retreat into hiding. Still, as I have grown, I have come to realize that Grandma saw me with faith filled eyes.

Now, many years later, I finally understand what Grandma was trying to say. She saw the me that was yet to be. And she had faith that God would lead me on my way. As a child, the right path was easy to find, for I had Grandma to walk it with me. She read me God’s word. Took me to Sunday School. She even paid for me to attend the church camp where I received Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was twelve years old. But even more than that, she prayed for me and believed that God would finish what He had started in me, even after she was gone and my life became more complicated.

Truly, my grandmother knew the right path when she saw it. Though she is not here to teach my kids, my grandmother is part of the legacy I am growing in them. Today, as I raise up Godly children in a world hostile to absolute truth, I understand what Grandma saw in me. For regardless of what political arguments may grip our nation, I am determined to raise my son and daughters God’s way. After all, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12 NIV)

Grandma knew the way, she passed it on to me, and now I am teaching my own children to follow it as well. It’s the path of Christ and it leads to eternal life in God’s holy presence. To be sure, she would recognize the spunky spirit residing in my three kids, for it is the same one that she saw in me. Those apples seem to have fallen right next to the tree! When I guide my children and teach them His ways, I recognize the strength looking back at me. It is the same look that lit the eyes of a little girl my grandmother understood quite well.

It turns out that Grandma knew me better than I knew myself, and she believed that God was faithful. On my behalf, she claimed the promise that when we “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is older he shall not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 NIV) It’s a truth that endures for sons. For daughters. For granddaughters. And now, when I reflect on the words of my grandmother, a knowing smile comes over my heart.

Waving the white flag...

Here lately it feels like I am waving this flag...vigorously...often.  Life is crazy sometimes.  The narrow path isn't always easy...and more often it is a little on the tough side.  There are days where I feel like I am treading water and just hardly staying afloat.  But what bugs me the most about these how blessed they are.  The days where I feel overwhelmed and overdone are LOADED full of beautiful children, a husband who loves me, family, a home, friends, food to cook, places to go...and the list goes on.  Yet, somehow, I go through that day just trying to keep it all together and fail to notice what incredible things are happening. 
Sometimes...I find myself even at the beginning of the day...waving my flag...asking God for help and telling Him that I give up.  I am not strong enough...careful enough...thoughtful enough...
But, I find that "giving up" is often a good thing for me.  I have to surrender to let Him take over.  This often allows me to feel like I have given Him full control and allows me to focus more on what I should be doing - being thankful.
Thankful for so much.  From the moment my feet hit the floor in the the moment my eyelids give out on me...
Trying my hardest to live a life of thanksgiving is changing my perspective. It is allowing me to appreciate more.  Love more.  Laugh A WHOLE LOT more.  Surrender a whole lot more. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011


It's summertime, I'm headed on a quick family getaway, and, as a result, I am pulling from the archives today....Here's something from back in '07 on my personal blog:

Oftentimes when I tell Emily something, she looks at me and says, "huh?". Jeff and I have even wondered at times if she has trouble hearing. But I don't think that's it. I think she's a normal 3 year old who is too caught up in her own life and its activities to take time to listen to what I have to say. And sometimes I think I talk too fast or say things that she's just too young to really understand.

Sound familiar? I wonder how many times God says something to me and all He gets in response is "Huh?" I get too caught up in this Earth to hear what He's telling me about eternal things. Or maybe He's telling me something that my brain just doesn't quite comprehend yet.

Or, sometimes I'm just plain disobedient. I choose to "get things done" instead of obeying Him by spending more time in prayer and the Word. I choose to do things in my timing instead of being bold and sharing my faith with others in His timing. I choose to be filled with my flesh rather than with the Holy Spirit.

So many times when Emily is disobedient, I think, "How can I make her obey (take a nap, sit at the dinner table, follow directions, whatever)?" But the thing is I can't. God gave us free will, and she makes her own decisions just like the rest of us. I can, and do, pray that she'll have an obedient heart, but I know her parents, and I know she has our same strong will.So, when Emily is disobedient or when she looks at me and says, "huh?" or just plain ignores me, she is showing me a pretty good reflection of me.

Father, forgive us. Thank You for being slow to anger, abounding in love.

"...Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice...." (I Samuel 15:22)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!!

Good Morning Blogland! 

Today as you are out celebrating, working or having a quiet day at home think about what our freedom has cost.  As our pastor mentioned in the beginning of his sermon yesterday "Freedom Is Not Free".

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!!!!