Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Healer

Hope you have a great worship experience this weekend!

Remember, He's ALL we need.

Serving Him,
The Flo Ministry Team

Thursday Thoughts

Drawing from Deep Waters

Luke 5:4-6 (New International Version)
4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
"Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."
5Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."
6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

The disciples were fishermen by trade. They knew how to catch fish. They had been fishing all night. They were tired of trying and ready to quit. Ever been there? Despite their probable (and justifiable) aggravation and documented exhaustion, the disciples did something that had become natural to them…something we are most times hesitant to do….they did exactly what Christ said even though logically it did not make sense.

Dear sweet reader, have you given it all you have? Have you had your friends out in the fishing boat at all hours of the night trying all the “right things” to catch fish, only to watch the sun rise on empty nets…
In your marriage?
With your job?
With your family?
With your finances?

Have you read every book, been to every conference, joined every Bible Study, spent money on counseling, gone back to school , gotten a better paying job, and sought out godly advice from friends and family only to find that you are exhausted…and still holding an empty net? If you find yourself sitting on the shore with an empty net draped over the bow of your boat, listen to the Savior….

“drop your net in the deep waters” ---- the deep waters of God’s word----and find the truths that will set you (and those you have pulled into the boat with you) free….

John 8:31-32 (New International Version)

31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Berry Cheesecake Parfaits

What You Need:

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups cold milk
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
24 NILLA Wafers, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 cups mixed blueberries and sliced fresh strawberries

To Make It:

BEAT cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in milk. Add dry pudding mix; mix well. Whisk in 1 cup COOL WHIP.
LAYER half each of wafers, berries and pudding mixture in 8 parfait glasses. Repeat layers.
TOP with remaining COOL WHIP.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lightening the Load

As you know, we’ve been discussing burdens the last couple of weeks. We’ve talked a lot about laying those burdens down and leaving them at the foot of the cross. Let’s talk about a different approach to the topic of burdens.

Galations 6:2 says “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”. If we break this verse down, to carry each other’s burdens means to sympathize with, and assist each other in all our weaknesses, grievances and trials. If we do that, then we fulfill the law of Christ, which is the law of love.

I’ve found that if I’m self-focused on burdens that I’m carrying it’s easy to get downtrodden, to get stricken with pity and become consumed with the bad hand I’ve been dealt. On the flip side of that, I’ve also found that the more I invest myself in caring about the burdens of others, the more my own load seems to lighten. I have often wondered if that happens because my focus is no longer on ME or because God rewards me for helping to lighten the load of a friend.

Our prayer, as Christian women, should be to be people-conscious. That’s a challenge for some because our plates of responsibilities are already so full with our family, jobs, hobbies, church work, etc. But, above all else, God has called us to be a servant. I challenge you to think past the faces you meet along the halls of work, the ballpark, grocery store, or even your own church. There is a story behind every face. People are hurting; their loads are heavy. Let’s look for opportunities to minister to people, to share Christ’s love to another and to help lighten the load of their burden.

"I knew wherever I was that you thought of me, and if I got in a tight place you would come--if alive." ~ William T. Sherman, in a letter to Ulysses S. Grant

His Forever,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

From the FLO Ministry Team to you, we hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance. ~ Psalm 33:12

Thursday's Thoughts

We all have one you know. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, we have a mental checklist of what we have to do or achieve in order to be “good”. Perhaps your list looks something like this….

Go to church ……check
Go to Sunday School ……check
Sing in the choir ……check
Volunteer for Vacation Bible School ……check
Send my kids to Church Camp ……check
Teach Sunday School ……check
Invite my friends to church ……check
Read my Bible ……check
Take my kids to church ……check
Stay faithful to my spouse ……check
Don’t drink ……check
Don’t curse ……check
Don’t use drugs ……check
Don’t steal ……check

The Pharisees had a list too. They had 613 rules to follow. I truly hope that your checklist is not that long, but if it is, please read this carefully……obeying 613 rules is not good enough.

God knew this (Romans 3:23 (New International Version) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God)

…and sent Jesus (Matthew 1:23 (New International Version)"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us.")

…to live a perfect life (2 Corinthians 5:21 (King James Version) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.)

… to pay the penalty for your sin and mine (Philippians 2:8 (New International Version) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and came obedient to death— even death on a cross!)

…to defeat death and the grave (Matthew 28:6 (New International Version) He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.)

… and to reign with God in heaven as our intercessor (Romans 8:34 (New International Version)Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us)

…and gave us ALL a new check list….

Accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and savior of my life……CHECK

If you MUST follow a check list, Jesus gave us 2 commands
Love God
Love People

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:36-40

If you need a gauge for your Christian walk, use the Fruit of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."
(Galatians 5:22)
These qualities are given to every Christian upon Salvation. These are things that the Holy Spirit will cultivate in your soul as you grow closer to God.

Throw out your checklist. It is only a tool Satan uses to put you in bondage. God does not desire a perfectly checked off list. He wants you. All of you. Just as you are. He wants you to come to Him and allow Him to mold you into the woman He dreamed of when He dreamed of you. If you could become that woman on your own, He would not have sent Jesus, so stop trying to do God’s job. You’re off the hook. He’s got it covered.

Throw out your checklist.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Shrimp Dip

1 can shrimp
1/2 pint sour cream
2 to 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
dash of Worcestershire
2 tablespoons green onions
1 tablespoon sweet pickles
dash of lemon juice

Wash, drain, and mash shrimp. Add onion and pickle. Stir in mayonnaise for desired consistency. Add lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.

I hope you enjoy this as much as our family does. We can't go to a family gathering without this!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We had technical difficulty last week with the DVD player in Bible Study and will not be meeting this week because of an outreach event at the church. SO, rather than revisit Beautiful this week, we want to continue with thoughts on Salvation's gift, Faith, healing, and God's amazing love.

We all have things in our lives that we wish we could undo. Things we could un-say. Even people we could un-know! But we can't go back and we can't un-do. "Heal the Wound" by Point of Grace puts words to an honest plea to our Savior for HOLY healing. Heal me, but always let me remember what you healed me from.


Heal the Wound, Leave the Scar

Point of Grace

I used to wish that I could rewrite history
I used to dream that each mistake could be erased
Then I could just pretend
I never knew me back then
I used to pray that You would take this shame away
Hide all the evidence of who I've been
But it's the memory of
The place You brought me from
That keeps me on my knees
And even though I'm free

Heal the wound but leave the scar

A reminder of how merciful You are
I am broken, torn apart
Take the pieces of this heart
And heal the wound but leave the scar
I have not lived a life that boasts of anything
I don't take pride in what I bring
But I'll build an altar with
The rubble that You've found me in
And every stone will sing
Of what You can redeem

Heal the wound but leave the scar

A reminder of how merciful You are
I am broken, torn apart
Take the pieces of this heart
And heal the wound but leave the scar
Don't let me forgetEverything You've done for me
Don't let me forgetThe beauty in the suffering

Heal the wound but leave the scar

A reminder of how merciful You are
I am broken, torn apart
Take the pieces of this heart
And heal the wound but leave the scar

Monday, May 18, 2009

You Aren't Good Enough...And That's Okay

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." - Ephesians 2:8-9

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." - Acts 4:12

The most heart breaking thing I have ever heard is “I want to give my life to Christ, but I have to get my life straight before I ask Jesus to be my Savior.” That’s a famous misconception about our coming to Christ. Christ made salvation so simple, that our human minds can’t even comprehend its simplicity. I remember being in Sunday School when I was a little girl. I heard over and over how salvation was God’s FREE GIFT to each one of us. Basically, he wrapped His son, Jesus Christ, up in a big beautiful present to give to each and every one of us, individually. We did nothing (nor can we ever do anything) to deserve this free gift. The definition of the word gift is something given voluntarily without payment in return.

If we had to do something to EARN the gift of Salvation, then it would negate the fact that salvation IS a gift.

Dear friend, will you allow yourself to be let off the hook? Will you allow yourself to accept God’s FREE gift of salvation? You will never be good enough for God….and that’s okay. HE loves you right now exactly as you are. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more than He does at this very moment, and there is nothing you can do that will make Him love you less. As we’ve mentioned in past posts, God isn’t standing up in Heaven with your good vs. bad checklist. The price has already been paid. The deal is done…it’s been signed, sealed and delivered. (Been there, done that and already wearing the T-Shirt) Don’t discredit the sacrifice Jesus paid on that horrible cross by not allowing yourself acceptance of that FREE gift.

If you are waiting until you get it all together before you come to Christ, you are denying yourself the most amazing gift ever. Aren’t you tired of searching for validation? Aren’t you tired of ‘cleaning house’ only for it to get dirty again? Aren’t you tired of trying to be “good enough” to win God’s approval? The fact is and still remains that none of us are worthy of Heaven, but we ARE able to accept the gift of salvation. Christ died for your sin because God knew you would NEVER be “good enough” to be with Him in Heaven, so give up on perfection already!

It’s a choice you have to make, Dear Reader. Do you CHOOSE to continue to listen to the lies of this world?...the ones that say:

‘You aren’t worthy’

‘You aren’t good enough’

‘You’ve fallen too far’

‘You’ve waited too long’

OR, do you CHOOSE to LIVE in FREEDOM and experience true joy and peace that only salvation brings by accepting Christ’s gift and His promise that:

‘You are Clean’ - Titus 3:4-5
But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit."

‘You are restored’ - Romans 3:21-22
"But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. "

‘You are lifted up’ - Psalm 40:1-3
"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. 3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God."

‘You have a place in Heaven’ - John 3:16
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. "

Serving Him,
The Flo Ministry Team

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lay Your Burdens Down

Lay Your Burdens Down

Burden: n, A heavy load that someone has to carry.

What burdens do you carry?

There is one “burden” that we often overlook. Most women carry it… we just handle it differently. That “burden” is “life”.

For me, my typical day is something like this:

4:40 am: head to the gym

6:00 am: get four kids up & ready for school, fix breakfast, pack lunches, sign papers, make sure my husband has everything he needs and doesn’t forget anything, and oh yea, get myself dressed somewhere in here.

7:00 am: get to work, where I am immediately hit with this and that sometimes before I even get out of the car. I continue this throughout the day. Don’t forget making sure I make it to all the school functions in the middle of the day while I am in the middle of running a business with 160 children and 30+ employees.

3:00pm – 6:00pm: somewhere in here I will get off. Never a set a time, and I must be ready to change my plans on leaving at any moment.

6:00 pm – bed time: baseball for 2 boys, softball for 2 girls, homework, bath time, supper, husband on the school board going to meetings, church 3 times a week, teaching Sunday School, Singing in the choir, teaching Sunday Night Team Kids, occasional Bible Study (when we are not on the ball field), spend anytime with my kids that I can and anything else that pops up. Oh my - I forgot cleaning house and doing laundry :)

O.k. you may not consider these things as “burdens”, but they are true to the definition. If these things are the “load” you are carrying, then they are burdens. See, burdens do not have to be traumatic, monumental things. For many women it is just the typical daily life that has become hard to juggle. In my daily schedule, as busy as it is, I have not allowed for the “quick trips” to the doctor, parents calling and needing help, friends needing me, husband needing me, work needing me etc…….

Do you notice the one person that has been left out of my EVERY day normal routine? You guessed it – GOD. The one person that I should put before all of this, always seems to get neglected because I simply “run out of time”. It is so easy to say I’ll read the Bible tomorrow, or work on the Bible study tomorrow, talk with God tomorrow. I think you understand how I am feeling. I think many of you are right where I am.

The Bible says: “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”’ Matthew 11:28

Why do we find this so hard to do? Why do women feel like we need to handle everything by ourselves, and then why do we get mad when our Husbands or kids don’t help? Why is it that we do not allow God to do what he wants and desires to do for us? Why is it that we feel like none of this is His problem? God created each and every one of us to be unique women. He knows what we are going through at every minute of every day.

Think about how helpless you feel when you see a child trying to accomplish a task that they cannot do, but are too “big” to let you help? We know how to do things better and easier than they do… if only they would let us help them, or if only they would do it like we tell them to. God feels the same way about his children, you and me. He is watching and waiting for us to allow him to take control. I challenge each of you to find the strength you need to allow God to handle your burdens for you. Show God that you TRUST him enough to handle every detail of your life. Show God that you LOVE him enough to give it all to him. Life is so much easier when we all “Lay our burdens down at the cross”. I can tell you personally that I would never be able to make it through one day without allowing God to be by my side, not as my co-pilot (who takes over when things get too tough), but as my Cartographer (the one who draws my map) .




2 cups fresh strawberries, divided
2/3 cup boiling water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
ice cubes
1/2 cup cold water
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping, thawed
1 ready-to-use reduced-fat graham cracker crumb crust (6 oz.)

SLICE 1 cup strawberries; refrigerate for later use. Chop remaining berries; set side. Add boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add enough ice to cold water to make 1 cup. Add to gelatin; stir until slightly thickened. Remove any unmelted ice.
WHISK in COOL WHIP. Stir in chopped berries. Refrigerate 20 to 30 min. or until mixture is very thick and will mound. Spoon into crust.
REFRIGERATE 6 hours or until firm. Top with sliced berries.

This recipe makes me want to call my girlfriends over for a slice and a tall glass of sweet tea!

God blesses us with friends to share life with, but our friends are never to be our “lifeline”…that is God’s job. God blesses us with friends to encourage us to reach our full potential….in Christ. God blesses us with friends to hold us when we mourn….but HE is the great comforter. God blesses us with friends to guide us when we lose our way….but HE is the Good Shepherd.

Friends are a blessing from heaven. Choose your friends wisely. Surround yourself with women who will point you back to your Creator when you get a little sideways in the road. Make sure that those close to you are closer to Christ.

This side of heaven, friends can truly ease the burdens of life. They are a gift, a “sweet taste of the love we are created for”.

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Proverbs 12:26


FLO Ministry Team

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do You Think I'm Beautiful? - Week 3

Last week in Bible study I got stuck on one thing that Angela said in the video.

“There is an empty place inside you that is screaming”

Now, forgive me, I am sure that there was more to the comment. I’m sure that there was a grand illustration followed by a perfect scripture reference. But I got stuck here. I didn’t hear anything else. I jotted it down in the front of my workbook. See, I have known that feeling….and “screaming” is a PERFECT word to describe it!

Dear Reader, do you know that feeling? Is there a place in your soul that is screaming to be filled? Is there a general feeling of unrest…a feeling that there is “something” else that you need…. something always just beyond your grasp? Is there an ache in your heart that will not go away?

Over the next few weeks, we will be talking about “burdens” here on the Blog, and I truly believe that a screaming soul is one of the heaviest burdens to bear. I say this because I have cried with too many women who have tried everything to silence those screams. The consequence of years of looking for “something” is too often a heart full of “nothing”….”empty”, “void”, and “numb” are words I hear the most, followed closely by words like “guilty”, “damaged”, and “used”.

A heart full of nothing is a heavy, heavy burden to bear.

As women, we were created by GOD to desire to be loved in every sense on the word. HE created us to be filled and fulfilled in HIM….in God. It is God who completes us. Sadly, we are separated from our creator because of our inborn sinful nature. God is pure and completely holy and cannot be where sin is, yet our souls “scream” for the connection to God that HE intended when HE created Adam and Eve. The only way to soothe your screaming soul is to rest in the warm embrace of your heavenly Father and allow HIM to call you “Beautiful”, “Beloved”, and “Daughter”….and the only way to the arms of the Father is through the Son. Jesus paid the price for our sin – mine and YOURS – so that the relationship we were intended for could be restored. (If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, we would LOVE to talk to you about Him and the promise of eternity in Heaven!

Dear Reader, if your soul is screaming, Scripture says :

“For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalm 107:9

God loves you. He is enthralled with your beauty! He created you to be His beloved Daughter. If your soul is screaming, stop trying to quiet it with friends, food, a man, children, church, community service, and all the rest. They are but sweet tastes of the love you were created for. Your soul is screaming for its Creator…..


Sunday, May 10, 2009


Philippians 4:6-7 promises,

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

God is telling us not to freak out about anything. Anything! Can you think of anything that does not fit in “anything”? Instead of worrying—pray—about everything!

It is interesting that these verses do not promise God will answer your requests (though it is implied). Rather, what God does promise in these verses is this: If, when you are confronted with difficult things, you will pray rather than worry, God will give you peace. The stress will lift. The pressure will
be broken.

In America, people spend millions of dollars visiting their therapists. They talk over all their problems with their therapists to try and relieve the stress and worries of life. I have a confession to make…I have a therapist. I talk to Him every single day. My therapist is my Father in heaven. I bring all my problems to Him. And I talk over everything with Him.

One of the keys in unburdening your heart when you pray is being completely honest. God knows what you are thinking, anyway. You may as well tell Him the truth about what is weighing you down.

It is no accident you are reading this today. Perhaps you are so filled with anxiety and stress that you are working on an ulcer right now. You don’t sleep like you should. Your anxieties have robbed you of the quality of life God wants you to have.

God wants you free from your burdens. Take them to God today, and every day, and see how those burdens are lifted. ~ Bayless Conley

We have spent the last month telling you a little about ourselves. We have shared where "we are" in our relationship with Christ and the "Labels" Christ has freed us from. Now, we want to hear from you, dear reader. What are your struggles? What are you burdened with? It is our greatest desire to make Christ very real to each of you who take the time to visit with us each day. We want to address things that are real in your life. We want to help shed God's light on the issues you deal with from day to day.

For the next two weeks, we will be talking about being "Unburdened". What things come to your mind when you read that? What weighs you down? If you feel comfortable, please leave a comment to our post. If you'd like us to pray with you about something, and you don't feel comfortable leaving a post, please feel free to email our ministry team at

Serving Him,
The FLO Ministry Team

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Preacher's Kid

There are some labels you are born into. Such was the case with me…the Preacher’s kid. PK’s are known to be rebellious, but that was not the case with me. I knew what was expected of me and I did what I could to make my parents proud. I have been in church all my life. As an older child I often found Sunday School boring because I already knew all the Bible stories…being in church every Sunday and Wednesday for your entire life allows you to absorb mass amounts of Bible info without much effort. I enjoyed hearing my Daddy preach, but always felt that I was being watched by “well intended dragons” in the congregation who wanted to make sure my Daddy knew if I talked in church, looked up during the closing prayer, day dreamed during the hymns, or passed notes during the sermon. Even though I have ALWAYS been in church, I have not enjoyed church much….until recently.

My dad changed churches, time passed, I got married….but I was still the PK. I was dragging my little family to and from my Daddy’s church the better part of an hour from home every Sunday…it didn’t matter much to me because church had always been something I was supposed to do …and as the Preacher’s Kid, I had always gone to my Daddy’s church. That’s just what I did…until recently.

One day on the way home from our weekly trip to church, I realized that I really didn’t want to make that trip anymore. The thought hit me….”There has GOT to be more to it than this”. That realization has changed my life. My husband, son and I have found a church home of our own now, and even though we said “we are JUST going to church, we are NOT getting involved”…we are very involved.

I have learned that your motive for going to church makes all the difference in the world. Going to church because you always have isn’t enough. Going to church because you are supposed to isn’t enough. Going to church because you love to worship with your church family and because you love to serve God with your church family makes all the difference! I have learned that you should look until you find a church that fits you and your family, where you can worship together, grow together, and serve together.

The most important thing I have learned that going to church for a long time doesn’t automatically make you spiritually mature. You can go to church and learn how to act like a Christian, talk like a Christian and look like a Christian….but it takes personal effort to seek the heart of God and to grow in your personal relationship with Him.

I will always be a Preacher’s Kid, because my Daddy is a preacher, but I am a Child of God in my own right and am cultivating my relationship with HIM accordingly!

In His Arms,

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


As a little girl I dreamed of the fairy tale life. Big white house in a field with a white fence, tire swing on the big oak tree, two kids (1 boy and 1 girl) running and playing while my perfect husband sat with me, the perfect wife drinking sweet tea on the porch swing. I was a great girl, never drank, smoked, did drugs, didn’t sleep around, minded my parents… so of course all of this was going to be mine, why wouldn’t it?

I can’t tell you the shock to my soul when it all finally hit me that I was 29 years old divorced, living with my mom and dad and had a 5 month old baby. Where in the world is the big white house, the fence, the tire swing, happy children? Oh my gosh where is that perfect husband that was going to make me feel like a princess everyday? So.. lets see - what did I have? A twin bed at my mom and dads, a perfect baby (that’s the good part), lots of bills, lots of nights up with Blaine oh yea don’t forget a LARGE attorney bill.

I don’t recall the exact moment when I was slapped in the face with realization, but honey it happened. I vowed to never deal with men again. I could survive with Blaine alone. I didn’t need anyone else. For all of you that have experienced divorce, you know what I am fixing to say, babies can only fill the void for so long before you need another adult around. I remember telling God, o.k. dude, if you have something amazing planned for my life now would be a good time to give it to me. If you ever want me and Blaine to have a family it is up to you.

Well I promise you one thing, when you truly, whole heartedly ask God for something you better be ready for him to answer you. You better not blink because it only takes an instant for your whole life to change.

So, let’s see what God has done for me. I have an absolutely amazing husband who truly thinks I am a princess, I have 4 beautiful children, I have a great house, of course I still have my great parents but now I have the greatest mother in law in the world and all of this is just at home. Did I mention an incredible job that I love dearly with a boss that I adore, the most absolute greatest friends God has ever created, my church which is the only place I’d rather be and yes GOD right here with me in each and every aspect.

You may ask, what in the world did a divorced woman with a kid do to deserve this life? Well I have asked myself that question many many times and the same answer always comes back to me ------ leaving it at the cross! Have you, my friend, been down this road? If so, give it to him, give him your heart, and give him your soul. Trust him with every tiny detail of your life. I am living proof that when all this happens miraculous things will occur.



Tuesday, May 5, 2009


3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 tbsp. sugar
2 packages (8oz each) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel cheese
1 1/2 cups cold mikl
1 package (3.4 oz.) JELL-O vanilla instant pudding
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP LITE whipped topping, divided
2 cups frozen pounds cake cubes (1 inch)
2 cups frozen BAKER'S semi sweet chocolate


1. combine berries and sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use. Beat Neufchatel cheese with mixer until creamy.

2. add pudding mix, mix well

3. blend in 1 1/2 cups cool whip. Spoon half into 2 1/2 quart bowl

4. top with cake, berries and remaining Neufchatel cheese mixture. Refrigerate 4 hours.

5. melt chocolate; drizzle over dessert, top with remaining COOL WHIP

melt 1 additional chocolate square. Dip 5 remaining strawberries in chocolate, letting excess drip off. Refrigerate 30. Use to garnish dessert.

Jell-O, Philadelphia, Cool Whip, Baker's…
Brand names carry weight. Marketing people know this which is why they come up with jingles like:
“My Bologna has a first name. It’s O*S*C*A*R. My bologna has a second name. It’s M*A*Y*E*R……”
Marketing folks know that if they say a product’s name enough times in the allotted 30 or 60 seconds, you will remember the name, consciously or subconsciously, when you are buying “B*O*L*O*G*N*A” at the grocery.

The same is true for names that “brand” our souls….
Stupid, Ugly, Nerd, Jerk, Loser, Fatso…and these are relatively benign compared to some of the Labels we have been given, and the marketing people have it right….if you hear it enough it is the brand you choose, consciously or subconsciously.

Scripture says:
Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:44-45
What are your words saying about the condition of your heart? Do your words reveal that you believe the brand you have been given?

Is it time to switch Brands?

How about one (or all) of these:
Forgiven: “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.”
– Psalm 32:1
Beloved: "Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders." Deuteronomy 33:12
Child of God: “and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection.” – Luke 20:36
Redeemed: "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. – Luke 1:68

Restored: “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.”
Psalm 23:2-3

Blessed:Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Psalm 32:2

Do You Think I'm Beautiful? - Week 2

Last Tuesday we talked about “Beautiful” and the most common responses to it.
If you have not stopped to ponder the concept of “Beautiful” as it applies to you, please do so before we go any farther down this road.
Psalm 45:11 says that the KING is enthralled with your Beauty!

This week we are going to think about the woman God created you to be.
Psalm 139 :13-16 (The Message) says:
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.

Today I want to touch on a few other questions that Angela asks…..
Who are you really?
What do you like?
What do you long for?

Perhaps your initial answers are like mine….
Who am I? I am a wife and mother
What do I like? Hot dogs, Mac and Cheese, Chicken nuggets, Disney Channel and ESPN
What do I long for? An un-interrupted trip to the bathroom…ALONE

After I stopped and really thought about it, these were NOT such easy questions to answer…

Who am I? I am God’s precious daughter; I am a Mommy and a wife, a daughter, sister, cousin, granddaughter, niece, and friend; I am a teacher; I am a leader; I am a perfectionist (but perfection always seems to be so far out of my reach ….AND I am lazy and become bored easily, which doesn’t help my cause, so I have all but quit trying); I am a pleaser….I very much want to do the “right” thing so that certain people close to me are pleased with me…which often backfires! Ha ha

What do I like? I LIKE to share Christ with the women God puts in my life; I like to sing in my car….really loud; I like honey nut cheerios….dry; I like the color Pink…and white…and green, blue, yellow, brown and red; I like to write; I like to teach; I like to watch Calvin play with our kids; I like to watch Calvin prepare for Sunday’s sermons; I like flowers (not in vases, but growing in dirt, potted or otherwise); I like to stand outside in stormy weather; I like to walk in the woods; I like 80’s music and southern rock along with my contemporary Christian music; I like vegetables; I like having friends over to my house; I like my job at the bank; I like the smell of bleach

What do I long for? More than anything else, I long to see Jesus. I long for the day when I can worship Him in Heaven. I long for the day that I can literally fall at his feet and thank Him for saving my soul. I long for the day when I will stand before Christ and hear Him say “good job kid!” I long for the Day when my sweet Izzy accepts Christ’s gift of Salvation. I long for the day when I will know if anyone came to know Jesus because they knew me; I long to share Christ with the women God has put in my life in such a way that they fall head over heels in Love with Him; I want to make a difference in the lives of the people around me; I want to be a visual example of what it means to be saved by grace and what it means to walk daily with Christ; I want it to matter that I was here; I want to impact people’s lives in such a way that, when I go meet Jesus, there is a huge void where I used to be.

It is so much easier to give superficial answers to questions like “Who are you?”, “What do you like?”, and “What do you long for?”
Please take a moment and search yourself…….
Angela says….
God designed the woman inside you. Become reacquainted with the woman God thought of when He thought of you. It’s time to do a little heart work. You may have to come back to these questions several times after some thought and prayer. Ask God to amaze you with the beauty of your true heart.
Who are you really?
What do you like?
What do you long for?


Monday, May 4, 2009

Courage to overcome

Should you? Can you? Do you dare? Overcoming the past takes faith.....and something more. Courage...That's what it takes to shed the problems and mistakes of the past and to dream again. When shame and darkness hide all glimpses of yourself and you are about to give can find refuge in the shadow of Jesus. Listen as He gently whispers, "It's all right, my child....I will help you. I will never leave you."
Together with Him, you will find the courage to dream again.
~Max Lucado

See what Jesus did for the adulterous woman in Scripture..... John 8:1-11

1But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
11"No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."