Monday, December 22, 2008

A big kid at heart

Yes, I guess it's true.... I'm a big kid at heart when it comes to Christmas. This is one of my favorite times of the year. The decorations, lights, trees and everything that is part of the celebration I take delight in. This year we have two Christmas trees. One is the family tree and the other is in our breakfast nook which is decorated with apples--like our kitchen. Sometimes I'm referred to as the apple lady because my kitchen and breakfast nook area have apples everywhere.

When I was a little girl I couldn't wait til my dad would decorate the outside of the house with Christmas lights. Growing up in Florida Christmases weren't always that cold, but one year in particular, I remember my dad putting up the lights and it being very cold. The wind was blowing hard, it was dreary and cloudy. I wanted to help him, but couldn't stand to stay outside.

We as a family would decorate the tree with our collection of ornaments while Perry Como played on the record player in the background or an Andy Williams television special would be on the TV. Recently, I came across the Perry Como Christmas CD and purchased it. It brings back all those special memories. You are listening to Perry as you read this blog.

Dad always put the manger scene under the tree with baby Jesus, the shepherds and wisemen. After almost 50 years, they still have that manger scene. It's old, but has held up well through the years.

We didn't always have big Christmases with lots of gifts growing up, but it's the special memories of family that hold dear to me.

I hope and pray that you make those special memories with your loved one and friends. It's not about receiving things, but celebrating the birth of Jesus and celebrating with family.

So, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Love and Hugs,

Monday, December 15, 2008

Angel Dog vs Demon Dog

A picture of a ShihTzu
Last week my husband and I went to Virginia to visit his family. His parents are getting older and with health problems they don't travel that much anymore. The weather was quite chilly compared to what we have here in Florida. We even saw snow flurries one day and the temperature dipped down to 3 degrees one night!

We enjoyed visiting them and seeing other family during our time up there. The only thing that made our trip unpleasant was their dog, a Pomeranian "Honey Pot" as they lovingly call her. She barked all the time and I'm not exaggerating. If you moved or got up she barked. One night I had to visit the little girls room and because I couldn't see that well I tripped and knocked something over. She went berserk! Everyone in the house was awaken. You would have thought burglars were breaking in by the viciousness of her barking and growling.

Keith was becoming quite weary of all this noise after the third day and grabbed the dog and said "Come out you foul spirit of bark!" His mom from the other room said, "I heard that!".

We have a ShihTzu and her name is Precious and yes....she really is precious! She barks to warn us when someone is at the door or if she has to go outside and do her "good girls" as we call them (potty), but that is the extent of it.

We were happy to get back home to our little puppy dog and not have to listen to the constant barking. His parents love their dog just the way she is, but I'd take our dog any day over theirs...ours is an angel!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Interesting blog from Lee Grady of Charisma Magazine

The article I'm featuring today is from Lee Grady of Charisma Magazine, Editor and writer of Fire of my bones. He is so right on in my opinion about the Lakeland Revival this year. I don't usually share things like this, but felt this was so worth it.

20/20 Hindsight: What I Hope We Learned From the Lakeland Revival

Looking back at what happened in Lakeland, I wonder if we can agree on what went wrong.
It has been four months since Canadian evangelist Todd Bentley fled the scene of Florida’s Lakeland Revival amid rumors of a moral failure. When Bentley vanished in August, the crowds thinned, God TV stopped broadcasting services, the meetings eventually shut down and Bentley’s worship leader took the popular music of the revival on the road.

Meanwhile, many people were left scratching their heads. Some were angry with Bentley for leaving his wife. Some were confused because their faith had been energized during the six-monthlong experience. Many charismatic ministry leaders defended the revival, saying that it was never supposed to focus on a man. Others blamed Bentley’s critics for the revival’s demise.
"Ministers of the gospel need both godly character and powerful anointing. Why did we ever settle for the idea that we should have one without the other."

Late last week the board of directors of Fresh Fire Ministries—which Bentley resigned from in August—released a lengthy statement to update its supporters on Bentley’s condition. The letter confirmed that (1) Bentley is “resolute in his intentions” to divorce his wife, Shonnah—and that “he admits to being 100% responsible for the divorce”; (2) his relationship with his former intern is ongoing; (3) the evangelist drank inappropriately during the revival; and (4) he has yet to enter into a clear system of accountability with Christian leaders who have offered to help him.

The six-page statement, which defended the impact of the Lakeland Revival, did not excuse Bentley’s behavior. “We believe there are currently no biblical grounds for Todd to leave his wife and children,” the board members said. They added: “The nature of the present relationship between Todd and his former staff member is that of adultery.”

Lakeland was a painful chapter in the history of our movement, not just because such a highly visible preacher made such embarrassing moral choices but also because Christian leaders never agreed on what went wrong or how it could have been avoided. Now that the accident scene is in our rearview mirror, I wonder if we can agree on at least some points. Here are some lessons I hope we have learned by now:

Lesson #1: Accountability. Accountability. Accountability. I wish just saying the word over and over could impress the concept in our minds. Leaders must live according to biblical standards. Period. Bentley’s board admitted in their statement that after the Lakeland meetings went into full swing, Bentley developed troubling behavior patterns. That would have been the right time for someone with apostolic courage to demand that Bentley step down for a season until he got his spiritual life in order. If we really want New Testament miracles and New Testament impact, maybe we should embrace New Testament discipline.

Lesson #2: The one-man show is over.
New Testament ministry is about teams, not hotshots. Paul shared the workload with Barnabas, Phoebe, Clement, Priscilla, Aquilla and many others. And he protested when people tried to make him out to be a god. When will we learn that the superstar syndrome actually thwarts genuine revival because it causes audiences to focus on man instead of Jesus?

I know there are those who insist that Bentley didn’t want people to notice him. But if that’s true, why did he cover himself with tattoos a few years ago, when he was in the ministry? I’m not a stickler about tattoos, but in Bentley’s case they definitely should have been a red flag. Anyone who craves that much attention needs counseling before they get on a stage.

Lesson #3: Chill out.
The Fresh Fire board, in last week’s statement, admitted that one of their biggest mistakes was allowing Bentley’s meetings to go on week after week without a break. Bentley tried to preach continually without rest, and as a result he burned out. Most likely his staff burned out too. No Sabbath, no time for family, no time to unwind. No human being can keep such a schedule without imploding.

Isn’t this also true for the American church scene? Our rule has become, “The show must go on.” We are driven to keep the seats full and the money coming in. The more we work, the more we grow—so we have to work harder to maintain the growth and pay the bills. The pace becomes more and more frantic until the engines fail and the wheels fall off. Building God’s way requires patience, pacing, regular maintenance and plenty of downtime to receive His ongoing guidance and grace.

Lesson #4: Character is more important than anointing.
Some revival groupies disagree with me on this. They’re so desperate for a display of miracles that they’ll take a zap from someone who has questionable morals or shoddy values. They don’t mind who lays hands on them as long as they are thrown to the floor while the crowd cheers.

I love revival too, and I’ve spent time on the floor soaking in God’s presence. I love the anointing. But please: Can you show me in the Word of God that character is not required of leaders? The Bible says imposters who work miracles will spend eternity in hell. Working miracles does not win anyone brownie points with God. Ministers of the gospel need both godly character and powerful anointing. Why did we ever settle for the idea that we should have one without the other?

Lesson #5: Lay hands on no man quickly.
Many of us are still grieving over the fact that a large number of charismatic leaders stood on a stage in Lakeland in June and publicly commissioned Bentley. Some praised him for his integrity and humility while others prophesied about the nations he will evangelize and the increased spiritual influence he will wield. Today those proclamations (readily available on You Tube) seem hollow and embarrassing.

Some who stood on that stage insist that God told them to do a public commissioning service. One recently hinted to me that it was a mistake. I’ll let them sort that out. Personally, it saddens me that our movement has been tarnished by what appears to be a serious lack of discernment. In the crazy world of independent ministries—which already lack proper accountability—leaders should take the time to investigate a preacher before commending him on international television.

Lesson #6: You can’t have revival without repentance.
The word “revival” is thrown around loosely these days. If a few people fall on the floor, get goose bumps or see gold dust, we are ready to christen it a revival and put it on television as soon as possible. After all, if large crowds gather, it must be God!

I’m tired of imitations. History shows that genuine revival is more than a bunch of blessed bodies in a pile. We need more than angel feathers, emotional euphoria and limp pep talks about getting high on Jesus. We need the strong Word of God that convicts hearts, demands repentance, slays sin and has the power to produce converts who will withstand temptation.

With Lakeland behind us, let’s celebrate the testimonies that came out of it, enjoy the songs we sang during it and pray for the restoration of the man God used to start it. Then, let’s learn from
our mistakes and press on to better things.

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma. You may click here to read more articles in Charisma

Monday, December 1, 2008

Birthday's and Christmas!

Tonight my oldest daughter had a great revelation. She brought up the fact that a month from tomorrow I will turn 50 years old!

She asked me if I was okay with that. I said, I don't think I have a choice. It's coming like Christmas.... ready or not here it comes! One year we were running so behind for Christmas we were literally shopping for Christmas gifts on Christmas eve. We barely got the gifts wrapped and under the tree to have them ripped open by our girls.

This year looks a bit slim, but that's OK. There is more to it than just buying and giving gifts. As believer's we know we're celebrating much more than that.

So ready or not Christmas is coming and 50!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Thankful Heart

If you listen to the news it can be very disturbing. This morning getting ready for church we had FOX news on and heard they are predicting our country will be going into a depression. We've heard and read about this in the past and never thought it would be possible or happen again in the United States.

No matter what happens as a child of the king our heavenly Father has promised He would never leave us nor forsake us or that His seed would be begging for bread. We have to trust that He is going to see us through and take care of our situation.

I spoke with a lady at our church today and she said she had to let go of her rental property because she couldn't keep renters to pay the mortgage and didn't have the finances. She is a widow and lost her husband's income when he passed away last year. She was quick to say, thank the Lord I still have a home and He is taking care of me.

We've all been guilty of living above our means and buying with plastic those things we thought we had to have and now can't even remember what we bought. If we are tithers we can claim His promises and His word to meet our needs... not our wants.

Regardless of what we're facing we need to have a thankful heart, not for what we don't have, but for what we do have. We all have so much! So this week as we celebrate Thanksgiving pause and give Him thanks for the many blessings that He's given to all of us, and trust that He will see us through those tough times.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

God showed up!

We had our Fall Escape event this past Saturday. Marsha Woolley, our women's ministries director for Pen-Florida was our guest speaker.

It turned out to be a beautiful day. I was thrilled that we had such a great turn out from all the churches in section 13. Our churches from Sarasota to Punta Gorda came.

The day began with a light breakfast and coffee. We then moved to the sanctuary where we gave away awesome door prizes. Diana Halbolm, my friend that attends our church donated beautiful prints of originals that her husband Danny painted. You can check out his work here. His latest piece is stunning called the Bride of Christ. They had it on display in our lobby saturday for Fall Escape and our services on sunday. We were able to present a beauitful print to Marsha for her to enjoy.

The praise and worship and ministry of Marsha Woolley was beautiful. God did show up and many ladies were ministered and touched by his presence. That's what it's all about!

Special thanks to everyone that came and that helped make the day successful!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Beauty for Ashes

Cindy Nelson is a part of our church where my husband and I pastor. The Lord brought Cindy to Gulf Coast Assembly and He has done a great work in her life. She had the opportunity to be interviewed by Erin Campbell of Water Through the Word Ministries. Please click on the link below and hear her interview.

Please note that some of the material in this interview is not intended for children.

"Beauty for Ashes" Cindy Nelson airs Sunday, Nov. 16th - 7:30am

"My father didn't play in ways that was normal for a child of 6 years of age."- Cindy Nelson speaks on Water through the Word RADIO From the outside looking in, Cindy functioned as a normal, happy child. All her friends, teachers and extended family members thought she lived in home filled with great love and acceptance, but the truth of what was really happening at home would remain hidden for years. Today, Cindy shares for the first time in public, the real life experiences she suffered as a child of an alcoholic father. This story ends with great HOPE! Miraculously, the moment Cindy met her Lord Jesus Christ, all the painful memories and broken self image would begin to be supernatural healed! God has truly given her beauty for ashes.

WARNING: Because of the sensitive nature of this discussion, we strongly urge parental responsibility while listening to this story in the presence of children. Listen to Cindy Nelson's show now! Check out her blog on my blog list called In God's Love.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Hi Ladies,

I'd like to remind you that our Section 13 Fall Escape will be next Saturday, November 15th.

We are excited about Marsha Woolley coming and sharing with us. She walks in an anointing that each of you and the ladies of your church need to sit under! I encourage you to bring a group from your church.

There is no charge for this event, but a love offering will be taken to cover a few expenses and we will bless Marsha with the remainder.

I'd love to hear from you this week and know how many ladies you are bringing. Check out the poster next to this blog entry. You may click on it to enlarge the poster.

This event will begin at 9:30 am with light refreshments. Our event will then begin at 10:00 in the sanctuary at Gulf Coast Assembly of God. There will be no child-care for this event.

You will be blessed and ministered by Marsha's ministry! I hope to see you there!

Monday, November 3, 2008

T'was the night before the Election

Dear Lord,

I don't know what the future holds for us in this country, but nothing takes you by surprise. Your coming must be very soon. Times are becoming difficult for your people. You know my heart Lord, I ask for your mercy. You said, you'd never leave us nor forsake us. We need you now more than ever.

Desperate times call for desperate actions. We're not there yet, maybe just desperate for idols or things that we've put before you. We're not hungry and thirsty for your righteousness.

Lord forgive me. Lord forgive us.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are there any good men out there?

My husband and I have been blessed with two beautiful and talented young women. They both have a bachelor's degree and graduated with honors. God has been good and they have turned out to be wonderful women of God. We are so proud of them!

Ever since they've both been little girls I have prayed for their future husbands. The girls have had relationships but they never worked out, which their dad and I are thankful for now that we look back.

I've always encouraged them to be patient that the Lord has the perfect husband for them. I've said, "He knows where you live". We sent them to a Bible college hoping that they would find their mates, but it didn't happen.

The girls graduated in December of last year and had a difficult time finding employment, so they both moved back home. We're enjoying them back home with us and realize that this is temporary and won't be forever. We're enjoying family time together.

Because of their previous relationships, I do wonder if there are any good men out there? There must be! There must be parents that have brought their boys up in the Lord that have the same values, standards and goals that we have instilled in our girls.

We don't know who their future husbands are or where they live, but we continue to pray that God will bring that special person into their lives at the appropriate time.

It's a good thing that I'm not in a hurry to be a mother-in-law or grandmother......I'm still young.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pray For Our Children, Brother, and Nation

This is a powerful Video. We need to pray more so now than ever.

The word says that if we will humble ourselves and pray that He would heal our land.

I saw this link on a blog that I follow. I hope you are blessed by it.
Click on below

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chic Conference - Becoming 2008

This weekend our church hosted the Chic Conference. This was a huge endeavor birthed by Jennifer Beittel who is on staff as Youth Pastor's wife, worship leader and office staff.

She worked so hard and everything was so "chic". We had so many girls and young women that came. I didn't participate in the whole conference, but did go last night. There was a concert by a group out of Tampa called 11:28 who were awesome! Even though their style of music was too contemporary for my taste. I guess I'm getting old! (remember AARP).

The musical group also led praise and worship and then the highlight of the evening was Pastor Nancy Turpin who just shared the truth about sex and boys, but in love. She spoke about Hadassah, aka as Esther in the Old Testament. For women wishing to become queen it was a requirement for them to be young, beautiful, and a virgin. God had a plan for her life just as He does for the young ladies that came to this event.

Pastor Nancy shared that the Lord has requirements for us as well, but He is a God of second chances if we've mess up. He only ask that we turn our lives around and serve Him.

At the end of her message she gave her personal testimony and the girls were so moved by it. There must have been 40 girls up front at the altar in response. She gave another altar call for girls that had been hurt or abused. My heart was so torn for them--they were crying out to God for healing from the hurt and betrayal.

This was a two day event and so many people from our church worked so hard to put this together. I'm so proud of Jennifer because this was her time to "step out" into this much needed ministry to our girls of Southwest Florida.

I believe that much territory was taken from the enemy and that these young ladies went away from this conference truly touched and changed.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The tree that wouldn't die

The home that we're living in was built and completed one week before Christmas four years ago. That was a tough year, we were living in a rental home in Charlotte Harbor that summer and found our family right in the eye of Hurricane Charley that day in August.

Like most new homes the builder is required to plant a certain number of trees on each home lot. We faithfully watered those trees believing that they would make it. Winter came and the leaves fell off and to be honest we weren't as faithful watering them as we should plus the rains slowed down.

Spring came and the leaves never came back , so my husband, Keith proceeded to cut them down to the ground. This past summer, we noticed shoots coming up from the roots where two of the trees had been. I asked Keith to please not mow them down and they are doing quite well!

The scripture in Psalms 1 speaks about a man being rooted and grounded. Verse 3 says, "He is a like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither."

Apparently these two tree's roots went down deep and took hold because they are growing and producing. They have leaves and one day they will be majestic oak trees providing shade and homes to birds and other wildlife.

It's important that we be rooted and grounded. A man recently attended our church and the first thing he said to me is that he attends 10 - 15 churches a month, like it was a badge of honor or something! He hops from one church to another. This blew me away a bit! To be honest I was offended too!

This scripture came to me about how we need to be rooted and grounded not only in our relationship with Christ, but in our attendance of where we worship to become involved and make a difference in the body of Christ. Not just to pick and choose where we worship because we like the worship here and we like the preaching there. Believers that hop from one church to the next I believe are selfish and in it only for themselves and not thinking about what they can offer to the body. It's all about them and what they can get. How sad!

What would happen if you bought a beautiful Gardenia bush, which I just love the flowers from them and you uprooted it every week? Duh, it would die. It would never have a chance to take root and you would never be blessed by it's fruit- the lovely aroma of it's flower.

I mentioned to my daughter this weekend about those oak trees that there was a lesson here. The rest of the scripture in verse three says, "Whatever he does prospers".

We didn't dig up those stumps or roots and they are faithful now doing what trees do. They are producing! How simple is that? as Rachael Ray would say.

Get rooted and grounded and become fruitful!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Beach and AARP!

We are back now from our time away. It was so refreshing to relax after a tough year! God is good and made away for my hubby Keith and I to take some much needed time off.

We stayed in a furnished Condo one block from the beach. The weather was beautiful--it was last week when the weather turned a bit cooler! I sat out on the deck every morning eating my breakfast with a cup of coffee and enjoyed the view---and ocean breezes..... reading my bible and having one on one time with Jesus!

Keith (most days) and I (every day) except the day it rained--went to the beach! I'm so proud of my tan---but it's fading... We packed a cooler with lunch, took a beach umbrella, chairs and our favorite books--just hung out and got in the water! Later on we'd go back and clean up and take a nap. We usually went out once a day to eat a meal somewhere on the Island or close by in town. Yes, it was wonderful!!!

We missed you, but tried not to worry about the world events, economy and just let go of our cares....It's easier said than done, but I can say it's easier now.... because of our time of renewal.

Back to realty though, as we were going through the mail to my "horror" was a membership packet for AARP! The second day of the new year is the BIG one for me "nifty fifty" as they call it. My hubby jokes about getting the senior discount at the movies, but this hasn't happened to me yet. It's just a number I suppose, but this one might be a little harder to swallow.

This weekend, I think I'll head back to the beach with my book & chair and pretend we're back on vacation pre-AARP!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Suffering for Jesus!

Hi everyone!
Just a quick update....we are enjoying a time away which we desperately needed. I'm sorry to say I won't see you at the Fall Breakaway, but know that my thoughts and prayers are with my sisters who are there. I trust that you are being ministered to and blessed.

I'll be back in full swing soon, but for now.....just relaxing.....

Monday, September 15, 2008

An Important Message From God

Effective Immediately, please be aware that there are changes YOU need to make in YOUR life. These changes need to be completed in order that I may fulfill My promises to you to grant you peace, joy and happiness in this life. I apologize for any inconvenience,but after all that I am doing, this seems very little to ask of you.

Please, follow these 10 guidelines.

1. QUIT WORRYING: Life has dealt you a blow and all you do is sit and worry. Have you forgotten that I am here to take all your burdens and carry them for you? Or do you just enjoy fretting over every little thing that comes your way?

2. PUT IT ON THE LIST: Something needs done or taken care of. Put it on the list. No, not YOUR list. Put it on MY to-do-list. Let ME be the one to take care of the problem. I can't help you until you turn it over to Me. And although My to-do-list is long, I am after all... God. I can take care of anything you put into My hands. In fact, if the truth were ever really known, I take care of a lot of things for you that you never even realize.

3. TRUST ME: Once you've given your burdens to Me, quit trying to take them back. Trust in Me. Have the faith that I will take care of all your needs, your problems and your trials. Problems with the kids? Put them on My list. Problem with finances? Put it on My list. Problems with your emotional roller coaster? for My sake, put it on My list. I want to help you. All you have to do is ask.

4. LEAVE IT ALONE: Don't wake up one morning and say, 'Well, I'm feeling much stronger now, I think I can handle it from here.' Why do you think you are feeling stronger now? It's simple. You gave Me your burdens and I'm taking care of them. I also renew your strength and cover you in my peace. Don't you know that if I give you these problems back,you will be right back where you started? Leave them with Me and forget about them. Just let Me do my job.

5. TALK TO ME: I want you to forget a lot of things. Forget what was making you crazy. Forget the worry and the fretting because you know I'm in control. But there's one thing I pray you never forget. Please, don't forget to talk to Me - OFTEN! I love YOU! I want to hear your voice. I want you to include Me in on the things going on in your life. I want to hear you talk about your friends and family. Prayer is simply you having a conversation with Me. I want to be your dearest friend.

6. HAVE FAITH: I see a lot of things from up here that you can't see from where you are. Have faith in Me that I know what I'm doing. Trust Me; you wouldn't want the view from My eyes. I will continue to care for you, watch over you, and meet your needs. You only have to trust Me. Although I have a much bigger task than you, it seems as if you have so much trouble just doing your simple part. How hard can trust be?

7. SHARE: You were taught to share when you were only two years old. When did you forget? That rule still applies!. Share with those who are less fortunate than you. Share your joy with those who need encouragement. Share your laughter with those who haven't heard any in such a long time. Share your tears with those who have forgotten how to cry. Share your faith with those who have none.

8. BE PATIENT: I managed to fix it so in just one lifetime you could have so many diverse experiences. You grow from a child to an adult, have children, change jobs many times, learn many trades, travel to so many places, meet thousands of people, and experience so much. How can you be so impatient then when it takes Me a little longer than you expect to handle something on My to-do-list? Trust in My timing, for My timing is perfect. Just because I created the entire universe in only six days, everyone thinks I should always rush, rush, rush.

9. BE KIND: Be kind to others, for I love them just as much as I love you. They may not dress like you, or talk like you, or live the same way you do, but I still love you all. Please try to get along, for My sake. I created each of you different in some way. It would be too boring if you were all identical. Please, know I love each of your differences.

10. LOVE YOURSELF: As much as I love you, how can you not love yourself? You were created by me for one reason only -- to be loved, and to love in return. I am a God of Love. Love Me. Love your neighbors. But also love yourself. It makes My heart ache when I see you so angry with yourself when things go wrong! . You are very precious to me. Don't ever forget......I Love you!

This is incredible --I'm preaching to myself on this one!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Dear Ladies,

Last weekend many of you read that I attended the Unstoppable Conference with host Pastor Deanna Shrodes. We all need those times to get away. It is my desire that you go to this conference that the Assemblies of God Pen-Florida Women's Department is hosting. These conferences are for you! To benefit you!

Marsha Woolley, our very capable Women's Ministries Director has worked hard and those in the District Office have worked faithfully along her side to put this together. I am proud to serve as a representative for section 13 and promote these events for our fellowship.

"Don't Miss Your Moment!" How appropriate is the theme for this years event!

Please note that the Florida Mall Hotel and Hampton Inn are booked for the conference prices. You may contact Marsha's office at the Pen-Florida District office for hotel information at or call (863)-683-5726 extension #23 for assistance.

Getting away is a time of renewal, refreshing and that needed push when you are going through hard times. It is a time of ministry to the spirit, soul and body. The days we are living can be difficult and a constant battle. We have to remember that the battle is not ours, but belongs to the Lord.

I hope you can make it! You are worth investing in! So, "Don't Miss Your Moment". It will be life changing!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Unstoppable -- God ordered!

This weekend I had the pleasure to attend the "Unstoppable" a conference hosted by Pastor Deanna Shrodes of Tampa. It began Thursday evening with a beautiful meal we shared. It was so good to see my friends Joy, Tammy, Alice, Judy, Melissa and others. I met Jessica from Oklahoma--she was such a sweet young lady! How precious it was to share and break bread with these awesome women of God. There were ladies from all over the United States that had come to be a part of this weekend. Praise and Worship was awesome under the leadership of Jennifer & Wayne Lee and Southeastern Singers that travel with their ministry. The worship was intense and anointed!

Pastor Deanna shared the word that first night. She spoke to my heart especially with what I've been walking in lately. She was transparent and open. I thank God for her. Ministry can be very difficult with decisions that have to be made. Lives are at stake and you want to make sure you are hearing from God.

During the day on Friday there were awesome workshops available. I especially enjoyed Tara Sloan's "Principles for Handling Transition Without Losing Your Mind." (I'll share my notes from this on another blog.) Friday evening was another great evening of Worship and a message from Tara Sloan. Check out her blog at I've always enjoyed Sandy Phinazee's workshops "Habits of Highly Effective Women in Ministry." Sandy hosts the Inspire Conference every year at the Florida Mall Hotel in Orlando.

After the Friday evening service the hotel kept their restaurant open so we could eat. We pulled tables together with a bunch us together we shared true stories that have happened in ministry. We laughed and laughed until we were crying! Someone asked me today how it went and I said "God ordered." Just what I needed--laughter. . . a merry heart doeth good like medicine. We were up til 1:00 am and then had to get up early for the next day! One thing is for sure, you don't get much rest. But it is so worth it!

Saturday morning was a panel discussion with questions and answers. These women had so much wisdom as they are all in ministry. What a blessing each of them were.

The Lord met me there this weekend and I was ministered to. It was a much needed time away. It gave me the push to press on and know that everything is gonna be all right! Yep, it was not what the Doctor Ordered, but what God Ordered.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Psalm 33:20 - 22 says, Our soul waits for the Lord, He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in you.

Last week I shared with you about Waiting on God. A friend of mine, Dianna Hahlbohm, a photographer was inspired and created this beautiful picture for me. I wanted to share it with you. This is a beautiful picture of the Church meaning us the Bride of Christ waiting for His return.

We are waiting for the Lord. He is our help and shield and the one that we trust. I love that song

"Made Me Glad" by Hillsong. The words proclaim:

I will bless the Lord forever, I will trust Him at all times, He has delivered me from all fear.
He has set my feet upon a rock. And I will not be moved. And I'll say of the Lord.

Chorus: You are my shield, My strength, my portion, Deliverer. My shelter, strong tower,
My very present help in time of need.

Whom have I in heaven but You, There's none I desire besides You. And You have made me glad. And I'll say of the Lord.

It's important that we believe God keeps His promises, we will become stronger in our faith and more at peace. Hope will replace discouragement, and trust will overcome doubt. Each time trouble comes, focus your attention on Him to care for you!

I look forward to the day Christ comes for His bride until then we wait!

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for "Your Moment" if you haven't already! Fall Breakaway.

Friday, August 29, 2008


New International Version (NIV) Genesis 9:12

12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come"

When our oldest daughter was a little girl, her favorite song was "Somewhere over the Rainbow," we would have to sing it every night before she went to bed. I can still picture her singing that song with her little girl voice. How sweet it was!

This week coming home from work I saw a rainbow. The scripture above comes from Genesis when God made the promise to Noah that He would never flood the earth again with rain.

There is a symbolism meaning here as well that the above scripture reads in Genesis verse 12, And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come." It means to me that God has made a covenant with me because I've accepted Him as Lord in my life and that He has a personal interest in me. He loves me and cares about me.

I put my hope and trust in Him and know that He is working all things out for my good. It's up to me to place my cares on Him. Seeing this rainbow brought a peace to me that was needed that day.

He has made a promise and just like He promised generations ago to those after the flood this promise applies to you and I today.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Waiting on God

Psalm 33:20 - 22 says, Our soul waits for the Lord, He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in you.

There are so many people that I personally know are going through their struggles. They are believing God for miracles, finances, jobs, healing in their bodies and marriages. Believing for salvation for loved ones. Our heavenly Father is all-knowing, wise and loving. We always benefit when we follow his schedule. However, waiting on Him isn't fun at times actually it is difficult at times! We live in an instant world and we want it now! We want our miracle or answer to prayers now!

Throughout the Bible there are those that experienced delays before God acted on what He had promised. The following examples show how patience and obedience led to blessing.

God instructed Noah to build an ark because a flood was coming. When the rain didn't arrive, his neighbors must have thought him a fool. Noah trusted God and continued to work. (Genesis 6:12-22). There is a scene in the movie "Evan Almighty" where Noah has built the ark and the media, neighbors, city officials are all there waiting for something to happen when Evan looks up to the heavens, with not a cloud in the sky and says, "is it too much to ask for a little precipitation?" If you saw the movie you realize that he did hear right by building the ark.

Finally Pharaoh agreed to release the Jewish slaves, Moses learned it would take more warnings before God's plan would be fulfilled. (Exodus 7:1-7).

Jesus disciples were told to wait in Jerusalem until the promised Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4).

Like many of you, I am waiting for my answers to prayer. He knows what we have need of. The Lord has a plan for each of us, and the timing of every detail is always right. Waiting requires both faith and courage. Following the Lord's schedule we will see Him work all things out for our good and most importantly for His glory!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


At times when you and I get discouraged, we sometimes wonder if it's worth it, that is our faith walk with Him, it isn't always easy. Well, I have to believe that it is worth it! He directs our steps and we must trust Him. He is our hope! Much of what I'm going to share today is from a devotional called InTouch Ministries.

"In the Midst of Trials" Genesis 39:6-20

Joseph lost his position in Potiphar's household and went to prison because of the lies of his Master's wife. He had hopes for release from jail but the king's servant forgot his promise to mention him. (Gen 40:14, 23). It had been 13 years and his future looked bleak.

Despite his circumstances, God was carrying out His plan to bless Joseph and benefit his family. God was going to use Joseph to rescue them the coming famine. God used everything that he had done or been through to do this. Joseph knew the Egyptian language and culture. He had developed leadership abilities and matured spiritually.

Joseph learned two things. First, the Lord is faithful and uses our problems or troubles to prepare us for His work. When the time came, Joseph was fully trained and ready to become second-in-command to Pharaoh. The King testified that God's presence was with Joseph.

Second, when the Lord accomplishes His purposes, the difficulty will end. In God's timing Joseph was freed from jail, and rewarded with a high-ranking appointment. He was reconciled with his family even though his boyhood was gone, he was blessed by living in the center of God's will.

Adversity can be painful, but the Lord uses it to further His purposes and equip us to carry out His plan. What is He trying to teach you in the midst of your trials? Ask yourself, "Am I cooperating with Him?" Even Jesus suffered to fulfill His Father's will for mankind. (Matt 16:21).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Part the Water's Lord

Usually I try to write blogs that are light and not heavy in heart, but I've just not been there lately. It's been a trying time for me personally. We all go through seasons ....we've read them all in Ecclesiastes. "A time to be born, a time to die. A time to heal; A time to break down. And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh;" and it goes on....

During these seasons that aren't pleasant we have to trust that God is in control and that He is working all things out for our good. My husband shared today in our morning services three points that I believe are powerful.

1. God has a plan for my life. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." We have to be open to change as we mature in our walk with the Lord. It's not easy, so what is the next step for our life? God's plans are more important than our plans.

2. He has a purpose for our problems. Genesis 50:20 "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about it is this day, to save many people alive." These are opportunities to see God's work in our lives. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God. to those who are the called according to His purpose." God works in and through our lives. He allows things that might not be great now to take place, but we have to trust that it is for our good!

3. Because He's in control - my prayers are answered. Ephesians 3:20, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. " He is in control and we have to trust Him. The song, "Peace speaker" says, He controls the winds and waves.

When you feel the waves around you it's important to remember that he will "part the waters". He is in control. Don't fight it, run from it or resist it. He is for you and not against you!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

You Have Beautiful Feet!

I always thought that I had cute feet that is until my husband informed me that they weren't. You see he doesn't like feet he never has and probably never will. (This is probably just a man thing).

Our daughter, Jessica has inherited her mom's feet (that would be me!). She brags on how beautiful they are. She faithfully polishes and buffs them and when she can she'll get pedicures, and then wears the cutest little sandal shoes to show off her feet and toe-nail color! Jessica is so proud of them!

Whether you have cute feet or not, the bible says, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who brings glad tidings of good things!" Romans 10:15

The Lord will give us opportunities to share the message of Jesus to our neighbors, co-workers, friends and family. This is sometimes difficult for me because I'm not a "in your face kind of person," but with the Lord's help it's getting easier to share with others.

I want to have beautiful feet! How about you?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


We are plugging away....

Can't think of anything exciting going on right now, but we are okay. No, we are blessed! Really.

This is what I wrote my pastor's wife friend Linda recently. I really didn't have anything good or bad to share. There was just nothing going on that was monumental in our lives that week.

I remember when our Kim was a little girl in school, my husband, Keith would greet her each day when she came home from school and he would ask her how her day was. She replied it was "ok." Day after day of the same answer Keith finally, one day asked her what would it take for her to have a GREAT DAY and she said, "going to Disney World would be a great day!"

There's a song from my childhood we sang in church that says, "everyday with Jesus is sweeter than the day before." It's true everday with Jesus can be better than the day before.

Well, I didn't go Disney World today, but still had a GREAT DAY because of Jesus!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dancing on Streets of Gold

Hi Ladies,
It is with much sadness that I mention that a precious woman of God has passed on. If you've kept up with her blog (a link on my blog) you will know the journey she and her husband Milton have been on. Please be in prayer for their family.

Our dear friend will be missed.
(posted today from her husband)

Kristy Dykes
August 2, 1951 ~ July 21, 2008
My beloved is healed and is dancing on streets of gold. I will share soon about her glorious transition from my hand into the hands of her Lord and Savior. She is rejoicing with her mother, father, and dear loved ones in heaven. Funeral arrangements are incomplete. Her Hero

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nursemaid and Chief Bottle Washer

Last week I decided to take most of the week off and chill out at home. It wasn't quite the week that I had in mind though. The weather was pretty much terrible. It rained everyday until about Saturday.

My husband on Monday became ill and stayed home as well with some "nas & tee" (nasty) bug. Our oldest daughter caught the same "bug" and was home. My week consisted of being nursemaid, errand runner, and goeffer for whatever the two "sick and afflicted" were in need of. (Oh, and also spoke Wednesday night at church for Keith). It was like the week company comes and all you do is cook, clean-up and wait on folks. Not that I minded doing it, just not what I had planned for my time off.

Finally, on Saturday I was determined to get out of the house and go to the beach. After getting everything loaded into the car, gassed up we drove to another town close by and made it to our destination. The water was not the clearest probably because of all the rain. I really wanted to go to a friend's house and use her pool, but earlier she informed me that her pool had turned green from all the rain and couldn't use it and didn't know how to remedy it! Oh well! To the beach we were going anyway!

Both of our girls went because they didn't want their mom to go "alone". We went into the water and splashed around and talked and shared we had some good "girl time" just bonding and catching up on things. It was quite hot and the temperature of the water wasn't as refreshing and all the sudden my oldest daughter who had been sick said, "Mom, I'm sick, I need to go home." The trip was cut short and we loaded up our things and left. It was a quick trip, but at least we were able to go for while.

The hubby and my oldest were both in church today and feeling much better. We enjoyed a "crock pot" meal at home and had a good day.

Tomorrow it's off to work I go, hi-ho, hi-ho!

P.S. I'm really looking forward to the "Fall Breakway"--that will be my time to get way!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


We have a lovely home that God has blessed us with and I'm so thankful! This week I was at the office preparing for a WOW Leadership meeting (Women of Worth) at our church for a wedding shower the women's ministry is hosting this month.

My husband proceeds to call me on my cell phone and tell me he needed me to do him a favor, he was on his way out to the movies with a friend and that we had no water at home. You see, we have a well for our source of water. Our oldest daughter was in the shower soaping up her hair when the water stopped. She came out of the bathroom with bathrobe on and a towel wrapped around her soaped up head wondering why the water had stopped in the middle of her shower. Our youngest daughter was outside washing her car and had it soaped up preparing to rinse it off when the water went off.

After much aggravation I finally found the number for our water guy and reached him to find out he had plans for evening and we would have to wait until the morning for him to come out and find out what had happened!

My girls had to work the next day, so they made plans to find somewhere else they could stay for the night so they could shower and be fresh for work the next morning. So, it was just me and the hubby for the night.

Thank goodness we had plenty of bottled water on hand. I don't know how many times I went to the sink and turn the water on forgetting we had no water. I'm sure that some of you that went through Hurricane Charley can relate to what I'm saying. We went through that storm and were without water immediately.

The next day and a couple of hundred dollars later our well was repaired. The damage hadn't been too bad. Well, I took a shower and flushed (if you know what I mean!). I thanked the Lord for helping us get our water back on! I thanked Him for giving us a well that would never run dry.

My mind went to the story about the woman at the well. Jesus offered her water that she would
never thirst again. She jumped on that and wanted it! Hauling water in the heat of the day probably got old really quick.

Water is something we must have and can't live without. Sometimes we are thirsty and don't even realize it and that can be dangerous! Water is refreshing and fills us for awhile, but we have to constantly replenish our bodies.

Jesus gives us streams of living water all we have to do is drink from His fountain and be refreshed! His water is a precious gift!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


With the Lord's help we can be Unstoppable! A very talented Woman of God and I'm proud to say friend, is hosting a conference that I'd like to recommend to each of you that are in ministry.

Her name is Pastor Deanna Shrodes, who co-pastors with her husband, Larry in North Tampa, Florida. This conference is coming up soon in September 4-6 in Tampa, Florida at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Last year I was blessed to be able to attend and it truly was a needed time to get away. The Holy Spirit ministered to me in a such a beautiful way. I encourage you go and get away from the cares of ministry. We all need this time to just be ministered to and not have to constantly give out of ourselves. Even Jesus took time away for rest and refreshing.

The registration fee includes a lovely evening meal that was so nice last year. The hotel accommodations were very nice and comfortable.

Check out information to the right under Deanna Shrodes' blog and click on the "Unstoppable '08" link for further details.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Fall Breakaway
with Judy Jacobs

"Don't Miss Your Moment"
October 2-4, 2008
The Florida Hotel and Conference Center at the Mall in Orlando

Click HERE for Registration Form

Sunday, June 15, 2008


My husband Keith and I were suppose to go on vacation last week, but it wasn't meant to be. A friend of ours offered a cottage in the mountains of North Carolina, but with the prices of gas, food and hotels we just couldn't go. I was disappointed to say the least. The day we were to leave my husband ended up in the Emergency room with what they thought initially a "heart attack". Like my earlier blog, thank God he did not have one. He did have a three day stay in the hospital though.

A precious lady in our congregation passed away later in the week, so we were needed for funeral arrangements and my husband officiated the service.

Recently, I've heard of the term "staycation" I asked Keith what this meant--so I looked it up today and have included a paragraph about this newest trend in our country.

Keith & I have been so blessed to go away at times and I'm not complaining or having a pity party. It wasn't meant to be.

Working in ministry can be very stressful, especially after going through a building program such as we have just come through.

Hopefully, we can get away but if not we can always take a "staycation". Read the article below.

By Jennifer C. Yates
Associated Press Writer
updated 1:30 p.m. ET, Wed., March. 12, 2008

UPPER ST. CLAIR, Pa. - Like a suburban stalker, I have watched from my front window as various neighbors packed body boards in their SUVs and headed to the Jersey shore, set off for a week at a North Carolina mountain resort, and jetsetted to Las Vegas.
I admit it. I suffered from vacation envy.

But after spending a relaxing two-week vacation at home with my family — with no packing, no airport delays, and no backseat chants of "Are we there yet?" — I was refreshed. It was just the vacation I needed. I recommend it to anyone who sighs with that sad Sunday night feeling each weekend when it's clear daily living requires more time and energy than a typical week can offer.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Hi Ladies!

You never know what may come your way. That's why it's so important to read God's word and put on your armor. Lately, the Lord has dwelt with me on this. We literally need to put on his armor everyday.

Every morning I put on the helmet of salvation, the breast-plate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shoes for the preparation of the gospel. I carry the shield of faith and lastly I carry the sword of the spirit (which is the word of God). It's important to speak this out loud so the enemy can hear this! Don't get caught without your armor on!

My husband Keith who is a pastor went to the hospital on Tuesday to visit someone in the ER from our church and ended up in the ER and hospital himself. He was experiencing chest pain and pain in his arm. His blood pressure was extremely high and this is with blood pressure medication!

Praise God he did not have a heart attack! He'll be fine with the Lord's help! I encourage you to put on God's armor daily and cover your spouses and family with the blood of Jesus. We need to be prepared for what the day brings each of us!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Women's Ministries Pioneer has graduated!

Marsha Woolley, our Women's Ministries Director for Pen-Florida sent this email yesterday morning regarding Sister Johnson. Thought you should know. Please keep her family in prayer during this time.

Blessings to you,
LaDonna Jones

Section 13 Rep.

Dear Reps:

This morning our dear Sister Johnson graduated to Heaven. To many of you, she was a dear friend, and to others she was an icon whose name was always spoken with respect and sincere admiration. She has completed the journey that we are all on, and hopefully, it will be said that we fought the fight with the same enthusiasm and grace that this mighty woman of God exhibited. She is an example to all of us, especially to those of us in leadership. It was under her guidance that Women’s Ministries in PenFlorida rose to new levels of service, especially in meeting the needs of our missionaries around the world. I don’t believe that anyone had a greater heart for missions than Sis. Johnson. Her kindness and devotion will always be a part of Women’s Ministries in this District. She leaves behind a great legacy. So, our loss is truly Heaven’s gain!

Please feel free to join with family and friends across this District and across the nation in honoring the memory of this special lady. The visitation and funeral will be at Victory Church in Lakeland on Saturday, May 31, 2008. Viewing is from 9 – 11 am, with the funeral directly following.
Please check the District website for any further details.

Marsha Woolley
Women's Ministries Director
Peninsular Florida District Council of the Assemblies of God

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Madhatter's Tea

This past Saturday I was invited to attend a Tea at my friend Paula's church, Harvest Chapel Christian Fellowship in Bradenton. She told me that the girls ministry, the Missionettes were hosting this event. I brought guests Jennifer our Youth Pastor's wife and daughter from our church.

We really didn't know what to expect. We walked in and everything was decorated whimsical, somewhat like a fairy tale setting. Each table was loaded with all kinds of goodies from finger sandwiches to desserts. They had PB & J sandwiches, pickles, chicken salad, cute little pretzels dipped in chocolate with sprinkles, brownies and more.

The Missionettes wore these adorable pink hats that they made and decorated themselves. Oops! I forgot to mention, first thing they gave us were colored paper clips and we were instructed that there were three words we weren't allowed to say the whole afternoon. They were "tea", "hat," and "party." It didn't take long and I ended up losing my paper clips which was great because I could say tea as many times as I wanted!

We were all settled eating and all of a sudden someone blew a fog-horn and instructed us to gather our things plates, tea and move to another table. Every fifteen minutes we had to get up and play musical chairs, one good thing that came of this was I met new friends that I wouldn't have met before. We moved a total of five times!

They also gave "unbirthday" gifts! This was a nice surprise until I had to give it to the person beside me, but then I received another gift afterwards that was just as nice! Cute game!

My girls informed me that this party is based on the Alice in Wonderland book. Somehow in my childhood I missed this story and the movie! Oh well! We enjoyed ourselves this past Saturday!

The afternoon ended with a sweet presentation from Celeste, the Children's Pastor from Harvest Chapel Christian. She presented an interesting message illustrating with shoes. From Cinderella's slipper, giant clown shoes, combat boots and the sandal representing Jesus. There were many children there and she kept their attention.

She told the story about Mary that washed the feet of Jesus with the Alabaster box filled with perfume. At the conclusion, she washed her mother's feet and encouraged others to do the same.

It was a fun and interesting afternoon. A different kind of "Tea Party!"

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Circle of Friends Tea

Today our church hosted a tea called "Circle of Friends." Our ladies hosted tables and decorated them each so beautifully with their own china and personal taste. Each table was different but they all were so lovely!

Special music was by Tracy, a young woman in our church that sang an appropriate song, "Circle of Friends" by Point of Grace.

We were honored to have our long time friend, Tammy Young from Church of Hope in Sarasota, come and minister to us. It was a busy week for Tammy being at District Council. We really appreciated her coming today.

She surprised all of us coming in from the back of the auditorium in costume as Elizabeth from the story of Elizabeth becoming pregnant with John the Baptist.

She ministered in drama and made quick wardrobe changes as she went into different characters from Elizabeth to Mary and then Hannah. She brought perspective to each character as they were all at different stages in their lives but trusted that the Lord would be with them in their journeys.

Elizabeth and Mary were cousins but close friends too! She shared how valuable friendship is and that we need friends that share in the good times and bad. How important it is that they stand up for you and not gossip about you, that they will protect your back!

Tammy shared how we need friends that will encourage, support, be there for us, and pray for us!

I'd like to introduce a friend in my Circle of Friends, Rev. Deanna Shrodes from Tampa Northside Assembly. Many of you have heard her speak before. I'm including her as a link on this blog. She always has something interesting to share.

I am so thankful for the friends that God has placed in my life at this time. May we always show love, kindness and cover each other's back!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

District Council Week 2008

This week my husband and I went to Orlando for Penn FL District Council, an event that we go to every year for ministers and lay leaders. We enjoyed the service on Monday evening as Bro. Terry Raburn, our District Superintendent, brought forth the Word. Highlights of the evening were the Southeastern University Singers. They rocked the place with an awesome rendition of Psalm 23.

Today, Tuesday, we went to the Women's Ministries Luncheon. The food and fellowship was great. I always enjoy meeting up with other pastor's wife friends and other women's ministries leaders from all over Florida. It gives us a chance to catch up. I just love that! Also, making new friends is great! Marsha Woolley was our speaker who happens to be our District Women's Ministries Director as well. The girl can preach! My husband who attended the luncheon and (the only man) sitting at our table wants to book her for special services soon! I don't believe he had ever heard her speak until today.

It was nice to sit and visit with my friend Sandy Phinazee, host of Inspire 2008 this year. She has recently written a devotional book that has ministered to me personally and I know many other women. She encouraged me! What a blessing she was to me today.

Marsha brought a powerful word! She spoke vision for the women of Peninsular Florida! God wants us to move forward and not become fearful. Peter wasn't afraid of walking out to Jesus on the water until he heard those calling out to him from the boat. We have a choice we can continue to sit in the boat when the storms come, or we can get out and walk by faith. After all we're gonna get wet either way! We need to look to Jesus and trust Him. Don't listen to the naysayers. The others in the boat probably thought Peter was nuts for getting out of a perfectly good boat to walk on the water. When he took his eyes off of Jesus that's when he began to sink, but Jesus was there to lift him up again. The future looks promising and we are moving forward towards the prize keeping our eyes on "Him" the author and finisher of our faith.

I want to encourage you ladies to sign up for the Fall Breakaway in October at the Florida Mall Hotel with guest speaker Judy Jacobs. You don't want to miss it! Check out the Pen Florida link for more details. There are discounted prices if you register early!

Happy day! Hope everyone else who went to District Council had a blessed time as well!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Time of Dedication

Yesterday was Dedication Sunday for our new sanctuary and offices. We celebrated a beautiful Sunday service with guest speaker District Superintendent, Bro. Terry & Athena Raburn. I love to hear Bro. Terry share. He is truly a gifted and humorous communicator.

We were honored to have our very own North Port City Commissioners come out to support us on our special day. They all sat front and center in specially reserved seating. I have to say during our praise & worship I felt a bit intimidated because they were in my view from where I sit on stage and play piano but Bro. Terry broke the ice with a joke and seemed to make our guest feel comfortable. And of course we recognized them and thanked them for coming to our building dedication.

Bro. Terry shared that the Assemblies of God is a Pentecostal denomination. I'm not sure if our Commissioners have ever attended a Pentecostal church service before. After the service was over I greeted our special guests. One told me he enjoyed the service and will come back and check us out again. I believe the Holy Spirit ministered to him as his eyes looked a bit watery. He said he was from a Presbyterian background.

The presence of the Lord was real inspite of my intimidations or reservations. He showed up and ministered to our guests.

My husband shared with the Commissioners how we as a church congregation prayed for them and realized that their jobs were not easy. I believe that statement touched them. Our dedication service was special and something to be remembered.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

God Bless You!

Dear Ladies:

My Pastor's wife friend, Kristy Dykes who serves with her husband Milton in Jacksonville, Florida was diagnosed with brain cancer in November of last year.

Her blog is a link to this blog for Section 13. Their entry for today, Wednesday, April 16th is titled, "God Bless You" it is so precious! It shows video of Kristy and her husband sharing with us.

Their love for the Lord and each other is evident. I want to encourage you read it daily and pray for them. They are believing for God to intervene in her behalf.

They will encourage you in as they walk with the Lord in the good times as well in the bad.

Be Blessed!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Post-Times of Refreshing

It's hard to believe Times of Refreshing has come and gone so quickly! It seems we were just planning for this event and now it's over. Kellie Williams, our guest speaker, a cute little petite blond-haired woman with pizazz (and a little bling) not only spoke but the girl preached! Kellie spoke about "Living with Passion on Purpose." The thing that stuck out most to me about what she said was spurring one another to act. We are to urge and encourage one another in the Lord. Kellie said when she and her family moved back to Florida from Michigan her husband was finishing his education and neither were bringing in a paycheck. They had some money in savings to live off. In not having any income for a little while the money kept going out and not being replenished. They bought a fixer-upper home and were working in the yard one day when her husband said that their next project was to do yard work and paint the home of a family at church and they were going to pay for it too. Kellie said she about had a fit because they hardly had enough money themselves. But they did it anyway. God did provide for them but it was hard for her to do that. Later on she felt good about helping the family. The daughter has an illness and is in constant pain that doctors cannot do anything to relieve. It's kind of like the movie Pay It Forward. We are to spur one another to bless others and not only bless others but to be looking for opportunities to bless others.
Also, the story stuck out to me because the current economy is not that great. My daughters, after 4 MONTHS of graduating college are STILL looking for jobs--no, not just a job--ANY job. Boy could my girls and I relate to that story she shared. But we are still plugging along, trusting God, and blessing others in the ways we can (time, energy, and talents).

Overall, the day was great. I am very pleased with every detail of the conference. Thank you for coming!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Don't Miss Out on Your Blessing!!

Times of Refreshing is quickly approaching!

If you have not yet signed up I urge you to do so immediately!

We have been working and praying hard to present to all the women within Section 13 AG churches a one-day retreat where you can come and experience God and be renewed by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 3:19) Our guest speaker, Kellie Williams, comes to us from First Assembly Ministries in Fort Myers. She will be sharing with you about how she daily lives with passion on purpose. To get a sneak peak of what Kellie is all about check out her website here.

If you have NOT YET registered but DO want to COME, send me an email at LaDonna at GulfCoastAG dot Com. (Typed this way to deject spammers.)

Cost is $15 in advance (deadline extended to Monday, April 7) and $20 at the door. Please refer to the poster (above) for more information.

I hope to hear from all of you and see you all at

Times of Refreshing!

"So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord. . . "

Acts 3:19

Sunday, March 23, 2008


On Friday my friend Cindy and I went out for lunch, her treat at Panera's. This is one of my favorite spots to go for lunch. We don't have one in our town so if we go to the next town for shopping I enjoy going there for something different.

It was a beautiful spring day as we sat outside and enjoyed the breeze blowing and the sounds of birds chirping. We then realized our mission for the day and reluctantly got up from our leisurely lunch.

We headed toward the stores to shop for the gift bags we usually provide at Times of Refreshing. This is something that I've always enjoyed doing, sometimes I have help, but other times I just do it. It didn't take long and our buggy was full with everything needed.

We're working on all the details and want this to be special for you. The ladies at Abundant Life are excited about hosting this year. They've recently been able to get back into their building as it was destroyed by Hurricane Charley.

It willl be an awesome day! We need you there! Please check out the info from previous blogs to sign up! It's not too late!
The cost is $15.00. Make your check to: Gulf Coast Assembly of God, P.O. Box 8009, North Port, FL 34290. Attn: Times of Refreshing--include your name, address and phone number.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


The theme song from the TV show "The Jefferson's" comes to mind, "Moving on Up!" Our church Gulf Coast Assembly of God has been in a building program for months now. Just this week we were able to move in. The staff and volunteers have been busy as bees getting everything in order for services on Sunday.

We built the new sanctuary on our existing property. This evening I walked over to the old sanctuary, which has become a multipurpose building now, it looked so bare and quite sad. Most everything had been taken over to furnish the new building.

Change is hard for me, but I know that we are fulfilling God's plan for our church and vision God has given our leadership.

I am excited as to what the future holds for us as a church body in our community. God has been good and we have been blessed.

We have to let go of the old so that God can bless us with more. I encourage you ladies to do just that. God wants to do a new thing in all of us. He has so much in store for us! All we have to do is make ourselves available and allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in our lives.

Don't forget to check out the info from previous post regarding "Times of Refreshing". You don't want to miss it!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

My Time of Ministry

A group of 10 ladies and I attended the Inspire Conference 2008 at the Florida Mall Hotel in Orlando this past weekend. Everything--from the praise and worship to the speakers to the hotel rooms--was awesome! (Go Southeastern Singers!) The presence of the Holy Spirit was so real. Everyone who attended was touched and ministered to by God. It was good to see friends from other churches that I have had the privilege of meeting from along the way and pick up where we left off.

It seemed no one wanted to leave Friday night because the presence of the Holy Spirit was so strong we just wanted to stay and basque in His presence. It's nice to get away to these conferences because everyone is there for the same reason to receive more of God. They press in because they hunger and have a need for more of Him in their lives. I find that being in the ministry leaders tend to hide the fact that they have needs themselves and put it aside to tend to the needs of others first and foremost. This is in and of itself a good thing. It is sacrificial and ministering but we are human and we need to be ministered to also. This weekend I just let go completely. I cried my heart out and I received a spiritual refreshening in my life. Now that I am filled up and I go out there tomorrow on the platform and once again minister and give all that I have to enter the others into the presence of God. I encourage you to take advantage of seminars and conferences. They are life changing and can help you dig deeper into the things of God.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Inspire 08

I am gearing up and getting excited about next weekend! Inspire 08 is going to be at the Florida Mall Hotel. This conference is every lady's dream--we get to fellowship with other women, experience God, have some fun, and the best part . . . SHOP!
(This conference is at a mall/hotel. Man, if a male created this then God hath given him some wisdom and insight into the woman's mind.)

Inspire 08 is February 28-March 1 at the Florida Mall Hotel featuring Sandy Phinazee, Sheri Hawley, Missy Monokian (she is HILARIOUS), and Deanna Shrodes.

I am expecting BIG things of God. I hope to see all of you ladies there.

It is not too late to register! Visit their website for more info here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Helpful Hints from LaDonna

Check out our new Pen Florida WM Director, Marsha Woolley. (to the left)

To learn more about her you can visit the Pen FL website at

For Women's Ministries logos or other great marketing items, please visit the National Women's Ministries website at and click on Women's Ministries.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Times of Refreshing

(Click on the poster to make it bigger.)

You may register through the leadership at your church or you can snail mail a check for $15 to:

Gulf Coast Assembly of God
P.O. 8009
North port, FL 34290
Made payable to: Gulf Coast Assembly of God
With "Times of Refreshing 2008" in the Memo.
Advance registration deadline is April 5.
If you have any questions, please call 941.426.7160.

It's that time of year again!

Big Things Coming!

Yesterday, Thursday, February 7, all the Penn FL Reps met in Lakeland and had the priviledge of meeting our new WM Director, Marsha Woolley. We had an awesome time together. We worshipped and prayed for the future of our district in Women's Ministries.

I am confident that we are going to move forward and succeed. God is going to do awesome things through each of us to make this happen.

The district will host Fall Celebration October 2 - 4, 2008 at the Florida Mall Hotel in Orlando. Judy Jacobs, nationally known from TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network), has signed on to be our guest speaker. More information on this special event to come!

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