Have you ever thought about the path God has chosen for your life? Does it match up with your childhood dream?

All my life I have loved to read books and write little stories.  As a grade school child, I imagined myself writing fun books for children.  It so happened that my cousin was a very talented artist (she even became a successful commercial artist and then at the age of forty decided to pursue a medical degree).  When my cousin and I saw each other at holidays, we would “create” cards for our family.  She would design the card and I would write the verse.

Then as a teen I attended a Career Day at my high school.  I decided to be adventurous and explore a career as an airline hostess.  I mean I grew up with an amateur pilot dad who built experimental aircraft.  He would also take our family flying occasionally.  Becoming an airline hostess met my love of flying and traveling in one package.  Sadly, that door closed quickly because back in the late 70’s, a hostess had to stand between 5’4″-5’10.”  If I stretched really hard, I stand 5’3″.

Still God opened another door.  I married my high school sweetheart who had surrender to the ministry, and I became a pastor’s wife.  No, I don’t write children’s books. Thanks to Shutterfly,  I do create fun stories for my grandbabies. Also, I am humbled to share my life lessons of ministry through two blogs, and I occasionally write for a couple of publications.  No, I don’t fly to exotic places.  However, I have traveled around the country and the world sharing Jesus.

No, I will never be an airline hostess even though the regulations have changed.  Yes, I still dream of publishing a “real” children’s book.  However, I would never change the path God has chosen for my life because it is pretty awesome.








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Brazil Bound

It seems like forever since I posted on our blog site.  The last several months have been a whirlwind of activity including babysitting my grandsons, the sudden death of my mother-in-law, and helping to sort through items at my in-law’s home.  Top that with all the church activities and I lost track of posting a blog.

So today I apologize for my absence and ask that you forgive a sister who is struggling to keep pace with life in general.  As I pondered what to write about I decided to share some prayer needs for our church’s upcoming mission trip to Brazil.

On Sunday a team of nine will travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil for a twelve day mission trip.  After we check into the hotel, we will literally hit the ground working.  For the next eight days we will have very little to no down time.  Every day we will be working with our host church to do door to door evangelism, prayer walking, Vacation Bible School, Sports Workshops, evening bibles studies and also have a three night revival service.  In addition to these activities, we have the opportunity to go into public schools (yes, public schools in Brazil welcome people coming to share the gospel).  We will spend three morning in different schools in the area talking with students and teachers.  As you can tell there are plenty of opportunities for the gospel to be shared.

On the ninth day of our trip, we will fly to Rio and team up with a missionary who is preparing for the Olympic Games.  The plan is for us to do more prayer walking, street evangelism and some ministry on the beach.  I think it is exciting to know that hundreds of people from around the world will come to Rio.  Many of these individuals will hear the gospel for the first time due to the many volunteers and missionaries who will be in place during the games.  Please pray for the Christian volunteers and missionaries as they seek to share Jesus with the world.  Pray for the people to have open hearts to receive Jesus.

My last request for prayer is for our team’s welfare.  Pray for safe travel (air and land).  Pray a hedge of protection over us regarding our health.  (As you know South America and other regions including Arkansas have the Zika Virus.  This virus has been in these areas for years but due to the Olympic Games, it has become world knowledge).  We know God has called us to do His work and that He will provide the protection we need.  Also pray for our strength.  Because this trip is long and every day is full from the time we wake till late night, we will be tired.  By the seventh or eighth day of little sleep, working on emotions, stress due to adjusting to a new culture, our bodies will be exhausted.  We need a good dose of Jesus strength to keep us focused.

I truly appreciate your prayers for our team.  I love each of you and hope to post again soon after I return to the states.

God bless you!

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Have you ever had one of those moments at church or with a church member when something done or said is just so ridiculous that your response (maybe to yourself) is a sarcastic “really?”  I try very hard to keep my tongue in control but sometimes my brain runs wild.  However, it was really hard to keep both my tongue and brain reined in one Sunday not too long ago.

We have really morning Praise Team practice so I was at the church early and midway through rehearsal.  A few people trickled into the sanctuary, and I naively thought they were coming to get a sneak peak at the music for worship.  Hardly!

I noticed one lady walked to “her” pew on the back center row and placed what looked like green cards on the seats.  Hmm, I thought.  Then I realized what she was doing.  She was “reserving” her spot on “her” pew.  “Really?”

A few minutes later an older gentleman came in to the sanctuary and placed his Bible on “his” pew.  Now, I am confused.  The man was obviously going to Sunday School so don’t you think he would need his Bible?  “Really?”

The fact that these individuals “reserved” their spot for service was not the big issue.  The main thing for me was that these people sit every Sunday in the same spot and only interact with those immediately around them.  I have never seen them welcome a guest or offer their seat to a visitor.  “Really?”

If we are the body of Christ, shouldn’t we be willing to give up “our” seat or offer a friendly “hello” to guest who visit the church?  Because our service begins a little earlier than normal, I have seen people come in late for service, look for a spot at the back of the church and leave because no one will offer a seat to them.  Also, I have seen guest arrive late and they must walk to the front of the church to find a seat.  “Really?”  Where do you think the eyes of members are when visitors must walk to the front during worship?  It is certainly not on the God.

Last, our church is short on parking these days.  Our members have been asked to park away from the church so guest can have easy access to the buildings.  However, the same people park in the same spot Sunday after Sunday (and sometimes in the Visitor Parking).  “Really?”  Shouldn’t we as a body of Christ be more welcoming?

You may think I am venting and perhaps I am.  However, I do believe that we as ministers’ wives are not immune from doing the same thing.  I would imagine there are some of us who sit in the same spot every Sunday or park in the same area.  “Really?”  I am challenging myself and all of you to be a better example to our members.  Offer your seat to a visitor.  Take a moment to welcome them and find out how your church can assist them.

Let’s be the church to the lost world!

I am just wondering if any of you may have a similar situation at church that you find ridiculous.  Please share!


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Time in the Word

My life these days consist of trying to juggle daily babysitting schedules for my two grandsons.  In between the playtime, cuddles, feedings, diaper changes and potty time, I have to figure out how to manage me.  The washer and dryer run constantly since a three year old and an eight month old get dirty constantly. Of course, cooking the evening meal is like an Olympic game with a three year old running circles around my kitchen island and trying to entertain the baby.  Let’s say just this Vivi gets tired and there are many early mornings when I would much rather sleep in than have my quiet time with the Lord.

However, today was a little different.  I do not have three year old Gideon so things are a little quieter in the house.  I do have 8 month old Jude.  Instead of settling down in my comfy corner chair in my bedroom for my quiet time, I decided to sit in the floor next to Jude.  I read aloud the scripture and devotional guide all while he laughed and played with his toys.

However, I noticed one thing.  While I was holding the Bible, Jude kept reaching for it.  Finally, I placed my Bible on the floor in front of him.  He grabbed the Word, pulled it to his chest and hugged it.  Now that is a picture!  Wow, shouldn’t we be anxious to pull the Word into our hearts and hang on tight to the promises of God?

Yes, our lives are busy and consumed with a whole host of “To Do” items on our list.  However, from the simple actions of my precious Jude, who watches everything I do, I will make time to be in God’s Word daily.  When I have my grandchildren with me, we will not just talk about the Bible and sing Veggie Tales “Silly Songs with Larry,” we will actually read a verse from the Bible and hug it tight in our hearts.





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June Cleaver or Lucy

In our glass house world, are you June Cleaver or Lucy?

If you are too young to remember who these ladies are, let me explain.  June Cleaver was the fictional TV mother to a son nick-named Beaver.  She was the idea of the 1950’s mom.  She wore dresses, heels, and pearls while cleaning, cooking and entertaining.  She even managed to deal with mischievous Beaver.  If you have ever watched an old rerun of “Leave It to Beaver,” you find yourself asking the question why?  Why is she wearing a dress, heels, and pearls to clean the house or cook?  Why is nice china gracing the supper table?  Why? Why? Why?  (One question I want to ask of June Cleaver is how in the whole she manages not to pull a run in her hose while scrubbing the floor and baseboards). 

Most of you have seen old episodes of the Lucy show.  This sitcom portrays the world of a scatterbrained redhead who is married to a Cuban musician.  Although her world at times may be glamorous, Lucy always ends up in some kind of mess or mischief.  Her life is full of mishaps from attempting to work in a chocolate factory to being the spokeswoman for an “energy” tonic.  Life for Lucy is full of distractions which lead to burnt meals and at times a messy house.  However, Lucy always has her best friend Ethel by her side.

So I ask you . . . are you June Cleaver or Lucy in your ministry glass house world?

Personally, I am a Lucy.  I tend to become easily distracted which has often led to many burnt meals.  My family fondling refers to the ruined meals as “burnt sacrifices.”  Housekeeping is not fun for me either.  Oh, I keep the clothes washed, bathrooms shining, and mopped.  However, if it is a nice day outdoors, you will find me enjoying nature.  Before you judge me, remember that God gives us each day and He says to rejoice in them.  When the sun shines I rejoice . . . outdoors . . . enjoying nature.

This week I managed to actually clean the house, get the laundry done and cook some meals (without burning them).  Actually it has probably been three weeks since our home has been this clean.  Why?  I am little distracted keeping my grandsons, three year old Gideon and seven month old Jude, five days a week while their mommy works.  I can’t be worried about mopping a floor and folding laundry when I have an active three year old on the loose.  Then I must cuddle my JuJu Bean.  And no!  I do not wear heels, hose, dresses and pearls while loving my babies.  Most days I am in my exercise workout clothes (yes, I consider babysitting a definite workout), my hair barely combed, and no makeup.

So ladies, I choose to be my hero, Lucy, who enjoys life in her little world.  Someday if you are in the neighborhood, peek in the windows of my glass house.  You will find me on the floor with these little boys building castles with Legos or we might be under a tent made from quilts reading The Cat in the Hat.

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My Journal

I love a new journal.  I look for ones with cute designs and lined pages.  I really do not know why I like the lined pages because I tend to jot thoughts or ideas anywhere on the page.  Hmm, I guess that is a little like coloring outside the lines which I always did as a kid.  I mean why in the world do you have an entire sheet of paper crying out for color?  It’s the same way with my journals.  I have an entire sheet of lined paper but the margins need a little touch of something too.  The point is a new journal is full of blank pages just waiting to be written upon.

Last year at our ministers’ wives state convention event, our theme was “Write Your Story.”  We all know we have stories to tell.  Some are funny.  Some are thought provoking.  Some are heartbreaking.  We need to share our stories in order to learn lessons from each other and to be encouraged.  Quite possibly our story could change someone’s life.

When I begin a new journal, I always think about who will read my words when I am gone.  (By the way, I plan to live to be 100 in order to torment my grown sons).  One day I hope that my sons will find all my journals and see how my faith grew over the years.  I want them to understand that life is not always carefree bright sunny days.  Sometimes our life stories develop from dark moments of trial and suffering.

My journal for 2016 will hold some sermon notes and some simple-minded thoughts of a crazy, blonde, chocoholic pastor’s wife.  I am sure one day Stephen and Bryan will open this book and see one of my “profound” silly thoughts and simply shake their heads.  However, I hope that one or two of the stories/prayers/ideas from my current journal or one from the past years will encourage them to write their own stories.


Happy New Years girlfriends!  Let’s make each page of the story of our lives count.

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Christmas Rush

“The Christmas rush is on again! It’s murder on the feet!  The minutes zip! The hours fly! We’re dying to complete this shopping! . . .Shopping!  Shopping!  Panic! Shopping!  Frantic! Shopping!”  The Christmas Post by Deborah Craig-Claar and Robert Sterling.

Yes dear sisters, the Christmas rush in on again.  There are parties to attend, houses to decorate, food to prepare, and gifts to buy.  Then if you are in a church at does a big Christmas musical production, you have extra rehearsals packed into each week until the performance. Let’s face it, there is not enough time in the day to complete all the “Christmas” stuff we have to do!

We panic and become frantic.  We lose our tempers, become easily frustrated with our children and husbands, and we are just not pleasant to be around.  When it comes to the parties my husband and I must attend, I stress about what I need to wear-jeans or dress pants.  Ugg!

Then there are the last minute details.  Did you cook enough food?  Did you purchase the equal amount of toys for each child?  You check your “to do” list a thousand times.  Christmas Eve arrives and you can settle back for a quick rest.  Surprise!  At 9:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, you receive a phone call stating that your cousin and his/her family you haven’t seen in ten years will be coming for Christmas dinner too.  You use your most pleasant voice to assure the caller that it will be no problem to add four more guests at the dinner table.  Once you hang up the phone you go into complete “I don’t know what we are going to do” mode.  There is not enough food!  There are no gifts under the tree for the last minute guests!  What is a person to do!

Alas girlfriends, as much as we try to have everything ready for the holiday season, something is always going to arise that is unexpected.  The turkey can burn.  You forget to buy a gift for Great Aunt Mildred.  You are past exhausted from parties and practices.  The list can go on and on.

Why not stop and breathe?  Christmas is not about frantically rushing around in a panic.  It is about our Savior Jesus Christ.  Why not share the Greatest Gift of all with your family and friends this holiday season?  Jesus.

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