Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Yesterday evening about 5:20, Jeffrey called and said some friends from church had 2 extra Predators tickets (game time 7PM in Nashville). Did we want to go? YES! After figuring it wasn't such a good idea to have the boys out late at the grandparents on a school night, we decided not to go. Well, when he got home, Jeffrey and I decided it would be good for him and Colin to go. Yeah, I know; I remember the whole school night thing. They got back around 10:30 last night. Here are some pictures of Colin's first hockey game. He had a great time with his Daddy. Colin admitted to taunting the other team (They yell, "YOU SUCK!" when the other team does a good job). Colin told me, "Its ok, Mama. We were just playing around with them!" Thank you Brad and Brandy for calling us about the extra tickets.

BTW - Colin has decided to be a Zamboni driver now.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Some Things

The great thing about Bible study is that we can all learn from one another. I have about 4 Bibles that I use. My "favorite" is the one my husband bought and it is a women's study Bible. Well, yesterday, we were discussing some things from our study about Xerxes showing off his women and we compared Vashti refusing to come before him with Esther not being called for for 30 days. One of the ladies mentioned that her Bible said it was a possibility that Vashti could have been pregnant and that could have been why she refused to come before the king. Well, I did some research (Carson fell asleep in line at Rite Aid and the big boys are in Nashville at a Predators game, Yeah, I know its a school night. I've already talked to Edie aka Ms. Ottersbach for approval.) and found that some historical records indicate that she is linked to Xerxes successor and that was possibly her son. Well, those records indicate that she could have been pregnant when she was called for. I thought that was pretty interesting. I LOVE BIBLE STUDY! I LOVE THE GATHERING OF GREAT MINDS (we are all teachers by the way)! I LOVE YOU LADIES!

For the last two weeks, students at our school have been raising money for our Relay for Life Team. The theme was "Students can make a change." They were encouraged to bring in loose change by our guidance counselor, Debbie Hughes. If they raised $500 during the two week period, Debbie said she would dye her hair pink. Click HERE to see what happened. Two of my students who are cancer survivors are also in the video.

Debbie, we love you and all you do for the kids. You are a wonderful woman. Thank you for supporting our Relay team.

This is a picture of Debbie, her sister-in-law Cleatie (fighting breast cancer), and one of my students, Tami who is 1 year cancer free. Sorry for the picture being a bit dark.

You can donate to Relay for Life/American Cancer Society at anytime. My Relay page is linked to the right. Go there to find out how.

In other news....
The Esthers met last night. I hope all of the ladies are enjoying themselves. My friend/coworker Sheteka joined us. I've worked with her for 3 years and we had classes together at WKU. She is a hoot!! We may have another couple girls join us. COME ON, KERRY & KELLY!

Well, in the movies you always here about food cooked by Christian women. Well, they can cook. Here is the spread we had yesterday. The girls didn't believe I would do this. HA!


Speaking of food, Colin said the cutest thing the other day. Well, me and my boys are bread eaters. Toast, biscuits, breadsticks.....YUM! The other day, Colin and Carson both wanted just a plain piece of bread. As he waited patiently for me to get Carson's piece, Colin said, "Mama, I think I'll have the ankle." I got so tickled at him. Then this morning, we had the following conversation:

Me: "Colin, what would you like for breakfast: toast or cereal?"

Colin with a confused looked: "What's toaster cereal?"

Me, tickled yet again: "No, honey. Toast OR cereal."

Colin with the light bulb over his head: "Oh, ok. I'll have cereal."

Have I ever told you I LOVE BEING A MOM!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pray for God's Will to be Done

Some of you have heard Jeffrey's big news, others have not. I've been wanting to share, but I don't always know the correct, technical terms to use. So, here it goes....

Jeffrey has received his approval from the North American Missions Board. What does this mean? It means that they approve him to be a candidate for the Chaplain program through the military. Although he has their seal of approval, he will still need to "apply" to the military and the chaplain program. He has completed half of his seminary work through Liberty University.

I am SO VERY proud of him. He has been led to do this for some time. I know that God will use him to do great things. This is all so exciting.

Below is a video that Jeffrey found and I wanted to share it with you. I watch it and think, "WOW! This could be my husband." You'll also notice that I'm going to be adding some blogs to my page of women whose husbands are serving as chaplains for the military. I'm hoping to learn from them.

Please pray for God's guidance in this journey. This is a major step in our lives.

You'll need to pause the music at the bottom of the page before watching the video.

Jeffrey is an amazing man. Each day he shows me and the boys how much he loves and cares for us. God has blessed us with him. I am proud to call him my husband. I love you, Jeffrey!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Who Knows

This week, we have focused on Esther's dilemma about going before the king. Mordecai basically told her that she wasn't safe and she had to do something. Was it possible that this was her purpose, to save her people? She and Mordecai both knew there were risks involved. That is true for anyone when making decisions. Take Dr. Ben Carson.

I have just watched an amazing, made for TV movie. Keep in mind, I hardly watch anything except Spongebob, Tom and Jerry, and Garfield these days. If I'm lucky, I can sneak off to the bedroom and watch The Biggest Loser while doing laundry on Tuesday nights. Anyway, this morning, Carson woke up at 7:44. YUCK. It took about 10 minutes to convince him to get in the recliner. I flipped through the channels and found a movie called, Gifted Hands. I saw that Cuba Gooding, Jr. was in it so I had to try it out. I was hooked. There is this doctor named Ben Carson. He and his brother were raised by a single mom in Detroit. Ben made failing grades in school and thought he was dumb. His mom wouldn't let him believe that. She pushed him and his brother to succeed. He raised his grades, but also had a "raised" temper. At one point of the movie, he became angry at a friend and grabbed his knife. It hit the friends belt buckle and broke. Ben rushed home, locked himself in his bedroom, and clutched his Bible, praying that God would take his temper from him. Throughout the movie, there were so many times he could have lost his temper, but God had taught him how to control it. Well, finally, Ben became an intern at John Hopkins. A patient came in needing immediate surgery or else would die. There were no doctors that were available to perform the surgery. Knowing what could happened if he did perform the surgery and what could happen if he didn't perform the surgery, Ben decided to do it. The main hospital guy (sorry, I don't know all the technical names), commended Ben on his efforts. Ben has gone on to perform some of the most outstanding surgical procedures we've heard of.

Now is the time for me to admit that I had a difficult time getting into Esther this week. I don't know if it was the lack of sleep from being up with Carson, my own not feeling good, a lack of routine, but I have struggled this week. I've come to a realization of a couple of things this morning (thanks to God allowing me to study His Word and the time He gave me to watch this movie).

1. We can't do it alone. Esther couldn't. Mordecai couldn't. Ben couldn't. I can't. We need our set of cheerleaders and the coach. Esther and Mordecai had each other, maids, servants, the other Jews, and God. Ben had his mother, his wife, and God. Me, I have my husband, family, children, friends, and God. We all need to be lifted up along the way.

2. We should seek God in all we do. Esther told her people to fast with her. Fasting was always associated with prayer. I know in her heart, she was saying, "Lord, give me strength." Ben clutched his bible asking God to take his anger. He went in before surgery saying, "Lord, may Your will be done." Me, I study His Word and cry out in prayer to be the woman He wants me to be. I have so many roles to play, I have to seek Him to find out what He wants me to do. I struggle with anger. I struggle with gluttony. I struggle with holding my tongue. I struggle with selfishness. I have to seek Him.

3. There are consequences for our actions. Esther had to consider the consequences of remaining silent. Would she be safe? Could a Jewish girl save her people. What about Ben? Could he overcome the obstacles of being raised by a single, black mom in poverty? Could he save lives with the risky surgeries? What about me? Will I "mess up" my children by being too hard on them? Will I chose the wrong battles? Will I disappoint my Father in Heaven? Will my life be considered a success by Him?

I don't want any part of my life to be a waste. I want to glorify God by the type of wife, mother, daughter, friend, teacher that I am. I want my children to know that I love them, that God loves them, and that they can be whatever they want to be. I want my husband to know that I cherish him. He is an amazing man and I am thankful for the love he has for and shows me and our children. I want my parents to know that I love them. I am thankful for their love and support and for never giving up on me. I want everyone to know that a life without God is not a life at all. He is the source of life. He gives and takes away. When we ask, "Who knows?" we should seek Him because He knows.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baby Teeth

We will have a visitor at our house tonight. Colin has lost his second baby tooth and is excited to see what the tooth fairy will bring. Oh, this has just about drove me crazy. I've had vivid dreams of pulling this tooth several times. Now, I guess I have to wait for the next one.

This is a picture of Colin after "losing" his first tooth back in November. It came out as I was brushing his teeth before bedtime. The blood really freaked him out. He was so cute later when he said, "I can't wait to show Brother Copass. First I get saved and baptized and now my teeth are coming out."

This next picture was taken just moments ago. For about two weeks, I had been telling Colin we had to get that tooth out or the dentist would pull it at his appointment (in two days now). I tied a string around it and pulled. Again, the blood freaked him out. I gave him a Popsicle to make things better.

Which one will I get a hold of next????

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Its Tough Being a Woman in a Mean World

Due to our revival this week, we won't be meeting to discuss our study. However, I'm going to post a "few" things and would like you to comment. As you read, think about the power of words.

My overall thought for the week is, "How mean!" We've gone to young women being taken from their families to have a night with a king. That night would determine their future. Also, we learned that young boys from around the kingdom were taken from their families as well to be castrated in order to serve as eunuchs. Then Mordecai basically saves Xerxes life without receiving as much as a "Thank you." Here we are with Haman, the seed of Satan, planning to destroy an entire group of people.

First, I want us to take a look at why Haman was determined to do away with this group of people. We learned that Xerxes had given Haman the highest honor above nobles and that all were to bow to him. However, Mordecai refused. Colossians 3:2 says to make up your mind who you will follow. I think Paul is telling us to decide who you will serve. This in turn will determine our behavior. Mordecai had made up his mind. Its not always easy sticking to your guns.

Who loves a good fight? For Valentine's Day, Jeffrey and I went to our first hockey game. It was great. When the players got rough, everyone started yelling, "FIGHT!" Felt like I was back in high school! Anyway, these guys told Haman about Mordecai to get a reaction from him. They must of known of his temper and how he felt about Jews. Well, it wasn't enough to "get" just Mordecai. It wouldn't do until all Jews were taken care of, so to speak.

I love words. I love how we can use just the right word to express our feelings. We can say, "Oh, Haman was mad at Mordecai," but that doesn't even express it. I teach my kids at school to use the best word. In this case, Haman was filled with wrath. Esther3:5 WRATH. What a strong word. I picture steam coming from the top of Haman's head, the nearest table flying across the room, then his fingers tapping the arm of his chair as he contemplates his next move.

You know, growing up, I heard a lot of expressions. In my Christian walk, as I've feasted on God's word, I've seen those expressions come straight from Him. Ephesians4:26-27 tells us not to go to bed angry. Ever heard that one before? Those verses also tell us not to sin in our anger. WOW! Good advice. I know you and I have never become angry and allowed that anger to control our next step.....

Have you ever noticed how brilliant people like Haman are? They have a way with words. They can convince you of anything. I remember being called into a meeting with a coworker after another meeting several years ago. The principal and her cohort told us what wonderful teachers we were and how we work well with older type students....blah, blah, blah. Basically, they were convincing us that we would do an excellent job at our new location across town. I remember coming out of that meeting really pumped up. They had finally noticed my hard work and saw potential in me to train other teachers. Pretty cool, until I stopped to really take it all in. These smooth talkers were kicking us to the curb. We weren't wanted in that school for whatever reason. The other fourth grade teachers would be taken care of and allowed to stay by being moved down to another grade. Not us. No, those two women had a way with words that made us see the transition as a good thing. It actually turned out pretty good, but I digress.....Words were used by those with a motive to get us to agree to something they wanted. Haman used just the right words to get Xerxes to do what he wanted. These people in your kingdom are different. They don't keep your laws. It is not fitting for the king....If it pleases the king....I will pay....increase the king's treasury....blah, blah, blah. Oh, and we know how difficult it is to convince Xerxes of anything. Remember Vashti?

Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us the six things the Lord hates. To sum it up, Haman. He was a liar, he stirred things up, he devised wicked plans, he wanted to shed innocent blood. Unfortunately, we all know people like this. Haman was so smooth, he got Xerxes' signet ring. With this ring, he had full power. Be careful of anyone with too much power.

One of the ironies I filled in on the PURIM was the correlation of dates. How ironic it was that this decree of total annihilation went out as the Jews were taking part in Passover. They would be reminiscing over their deliverance. I would like to think receiving this decree at this time would cause them to say, "Lord, Father. Here we go again. Evil is after your people. You have never failed us, and Lord, we know in our hearts you won't fail us now." These people must have had HOPE.

The week's study ended guessed it....two drunk guys discussing the events. What is it with people who can stir up trouble and then act like there is nothing going on. When I've hurt someone, I get sick to my stomach. That feeling doesn't go away until I know where I stand with that person. Last week we talked about how we feel when we see the unrelentless succeeding and have the time of their lives. We wonder why those of us who are truly sorry still suffer. We need to be reminded of Daniel 7:9-10 and Hebrews 4:13, Nothing is hidden from God. No matter how hard we try to mask our actions and feelings, He knows and sees all things. We will all be judged by Him.

With all of that being said, here is what I think God is saying to us (me). We aren't as "top dog" as we think we are. We should never put ourselves above others. When we are angered, we should stop and think about what exactly made us angry. Probably, there was a fault found in us and we didn't like it. We need not be hasty in our anger, but allow God to have His judgement. We should seek God in all of our decisions and not base them on what these smooth talkers may tell us. Although we live in a mean world, as children of God, we do not have to be that way.

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Valentine

My Valentine

Does your Valentine give you chocolates and roses?
My Valentine gives me so much more than that.

My Valentine….

Accepts me for who I am.
He gives me unconditional love.
He gives me faith and strength when I need it.
He gives me hope, wisdom, and courage.
He pours His blessings upon me.

With my Valentine, I can share what is deep within my heart and soul. After all, there is no keeping it from Him because He already knows my innermost thoughts.

My Valentine fills my heart with gladness.
He helps me to see the beauty in my world around me and to cherish every moment as if it were my last.
He has taught me to love.
He has taught me to be patient.
He has taught me to believe.

My Valentine…
I want to give Him all my love and praise because
There is no other like Him.

The most important thing my Valentine has done for me is to give His life for me.
He loves me so much that He paid the ultimate price that I may have everlasting life, and that I may spend all eternity with Him.

That gift is greater than chocolates and roses,
greater than diamonds and pearls.

What did I do to deserve such a Valentine?
The truth is I don’t deserve Him.
But He loves me so much that He is giving me all He has to offer.

What did I do to accept my Valentine?
I admitted that I’m a sinner.
I believed that Jesus is God’s son who came to Earth and died on the cross for me.
I confessed my faith in my Lord, Jesus Christ.
Now, He is mine forever!

I don’t want to keep my Valentine all to myself.
I want to share Him with you.
Allow Jesus to come into your heart so He will be your Valentine every day of your life.

Natasha Grimes
February 2, 2007

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Esthers

I really enjoyed my time with “the Esthers.” Great conversation, great discussion of God’s Word, great company. Thank you, ladies. Please pray for Kim and Dawn as they are going to start their own study in Bowling Green. We were glad to welcome Sara to our group. I want to tell you about each of these fine ladies.

I met Jan a little over a year ago at church. She and her family began coming regularly, and we have enjoyed them so much. Jan and her husband share their musical talents with us at church. They both also teach at the high school. Jan, you are wonderful woman. I appreciate you so much and I am enjoying getting to know you better.

I’ve know Ginger for quite a while. My mom, husband, and mother-in-law worked for her dad a few years ago. I’ve been blessed to spend time with her each Sunday in Sunday School. She has two precious daughters. Ginger, you are a fabulous mother, teacher, and woman. I think you are so GREAT! Your KTIP is almost over and you will be fine.

The sister I never had. My mom miscarried when I was a preteen. I often wondered what that child would have been like. I’d like to think like Edie. She is Jeffrey’s cousin and my sister in so many ways. I can always depend on her. She’s done so much for me. I remember when my grandfather passed away, she dropped everything she was doing and helped me with my boys. We can talk for hours. I love you, Edie! I think you are heaven sent and the BEST first grade teacher in the world!!!

If I were to pick a best friend, I’d pick Hilarie. We met when our oldest children were in daycare. Then we ended up in church together and have shared so many moments together. Both of our oldest children are the same age. We were pregnant at the same time with our youngest (they were born 5 days apart). Our husbands became deacons at a young age. We were both saved as adults. The list could go on…..I especially enjoy spending our birthdays at Chuck E. Cheese’s with our kids. Hilarie, thanks for being such a great friend to me. You are a talented, beautiful woman! I can’t wait for you to get your own classroom!

I have known Sara for a LONG time. She dated Jeffrey’s cousin throughout high school, so we were pretty young when we met. We’ve also been through a lot together, especially with our family. We’ve had a lot of fun playing games (not Trivial Pursuit because Josh cheats). I’ve enjoyed vacationing with her (remember Sasquawtch, Sara?) and teaching beside her. Sara, you are a strong woman and I admire you so much.

God has blessed me with a wonderful group of ladies to study His Word.

I wanted to share with you a couple of things from our discussion. We talked about how the young ladies went through beauty treatments and talked about our own experiences with our makeup, hair, and overall appearance.

I had asked Morgan, Ginger’s oldest daughter to share an experience with our group. Last fall(?), our youth took part in a fast, and they were asked to give up something for the lock in. Here’s what Morgan said: All the other youth were picking stuff like the internet or the TV to give up. I don’t get a chance to watch too much TV or get on the internet, so when I really thought about it, I asked myself, “What do I really use often that I don’t really have to have?” I immediately thought of my makeup bag sitting on the counter. Since I had the thought, I knew I had to go with it. As I was wondering how I was going to hide my “imperfections,” I decided that I was being really stupid. I thought about how God was going to love me no matter what I had on my face. I also thought about how some Christians wear a “perfect” mask over their imperfections and try to make it look like they are perfect whenever they are sinning, and God knows it. So, even if I did feel like wearing a ski mask to church that night, I knew that choosing to give up make up for a while was a good idea because it got me thinking and that’s what we wanted.

Morgan, thank you for sharing that with us. I think you are fantastic young lady. You have a wonderful heart, and I know that God has great plans for you.

As I leave you today, think about this:
For the Lord does not see as man sees. For a man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1Samuel 16:7

Monday, February 09, 2009

How Has God Shown His Love to You?

I am so excited about our second meeting tonight to discuss how Esther became queen and how God is speaking to us through His Word. Please pray for us tonight that we will glorify Him in our discussion and we listen to Him.

Remember how I said I wanted to talk to you about "love" since this is the month of love? Well, the greatest love story ever told can be found in John 3:16. This is the Gospel summed up in one verse of scripture.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

YES! God LOVES me, you, all the world SO MUCH that He sent his son JESUS to pay the ultimate price for our sins and that WHOEVER, me, you, all the world BELIEVES in HIM shall not spend eternity in hell, but have EVERLASTING LIFE in heaven.

I'm amazed. Listen to song two on the playlist.

Colin received a book called The 150 Most Important Verses in the Bible when he got baptized. The other night he pulled it out and he wanted to read about John 3:16. At the end of the devotional, it asked, "How has God shown His love to you?" Colin told me that "God gave me two wonderful parents (heart melts), a wonderful brother (still melting), 2 pets, all of my grandparents, my house, and His son JESUS (heart totally melted)." So, I ask you: How has God shown you He loves you?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Children are a Heritage from the Lord

I love being a mom. It is one of the greatest blessings. What else is filled with joy and pain at the same time?? As a mother of two boys, I have learned so much. Not sure what that is yet, but I'm sure I've learned something! Seriously, Colin and Carson are amazing. They are so different.

Colin has always been cautious. I'm sure his parents are partly to blame. Being our first child, we tried to keep him from danger. He was so clumsy (thanks to me). I swear, his little face looked like we beat him when he was learning to walk. He fell into every door facing in our house. He has bit a hole in is tongue from falling at daycare. He busted his lip from leaning on the computer keyboard drawer and it breaking. Through all of these aches and pains, Colin is such a sweet, caring young man (we have to call him grandpa sometimes). On one of his school sheets, he wrote about how people shared foster children and that made God happy. Before Obama went into office, he asked me if I thought he would be a good president. I told him we would just have to pray for him. Yes, he stopped, went to his room, and prayed. WOW!

Did I say my boys were different? Carson is a daredevil. He's rougher than a cob. Colin has always been my cuddlebug. Not Carson. Give him his space. As a baby, he hated carseats, swings, walkers, strollers, ANYTHING that confined him. Last night, he was pushing his elbow in Jeffrey's chest trying to get him to let go of the computer chair. Our poor cat needs counseling or a chiropracter. We haven't decided which yet! Carson is still a good boy, though. He is polite and uses his manners. He shares (when he wants to). But overall, he is good. You never know what he his going to do next!
I thank God each day for my children. What a blessing they are! I cherish each moment I spend with them and miss them so much when we are apart. It's never easy being a mom, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. Psalm 127:4

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Little of This and a Little of That

This will be a smorgasbord of stuff, so hang on!

First, as part of the Esther study, we've gotten to the beauty treatments Esther and the other "already beautiful" girls were given. So, I'm posing a question or two or three....
1. Makeup: is it a necessary evil?
2.Do you wear it? Why?
3. What would cause you to rid yourself of makeup entirely?
Please leave a comment below. I'd like to be able to use this as discussion.

Also, I'd like to say I'm so proud of my husband (as always. I think he is the greatest husband/father/friend there ever was). He came home the other day so excited about witnessing to a coworker. He was very gentle with this lady who, like so many of us, have excuse after excuse lined up for her own beliefs. He never judged her, only told her what the Bible said about deeds and salvation. As I listened and watch him tell me about this experience, I thought Isn't this what's its all about? Shouldn't we all be this excited about witnessing to people? When you ask some people, "Where will you go when you die?" their response is, "I hope I'm going to heaven." My What Every Christian Should Know devotional stated it like this: You need to have NOT a hope-so, think-so, maybe-so, but a know-so salvation. Thomas asked in John 14:5, "Lord, we don't know where You're going. How can we know the way?" My friends, JESUS is the only way. Do you know without a shadow of a doubt where you will spend eternity?

One thing I'd like to do, since we are approaching Valentine's Day, is to talk about the world's greatest love story. I'll do that in pieces. Billy Graham reminds us of everything we love: our house, our cars, our new shoes, a hot cup of french vanilla coffee, our husbands. We use the word love a lot. Let's hope we don't love our husbands the same way we love our coffee or shoes! What is the greatest love of all? GOD's LOVE FOR US. Yes, that's right His love for you and me. Take time to think about this:

God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

As you are demonstrating your love for others, don't forget to let them know that Jesus loves them too!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Esthers

I'd like to introduce to you the great bunch of ladies that came together to study God's Word. Edie, Jan, Hilarie, Ginger, Dawn, and Me. Kim took the picture. She thinks she's safe, but I'll get her on here! I guess I didn't get the memo about what color shirt to wear!

I have to say that I had a great time with this fine group of ladies. Thank you for adding to discussion and sharing your thoughts. I enjoyed your company. For those of you following along at home, please feel free to comment about your journey through Esther. Next week, we will take a look at Esther herself.

One thing was mentioned during our discussion about how Satan works to keep you a way from God. I commented that Colin got a bit upset that we went to church Sunday night. We were invited to a Super Bowl gathering too. We attended both, but he wanted to go play at the gathering. I explained to him how God is more important than a silly ball game. We had a great discussion on how Satan makes it easy for us to push God to the side: we are busy at work, we have all these other activities, we are tired. There are endless excuses. Well, one of my devotions this morning dealt with the same thing. In Luke, Jesus withdrew to the wilderness and prayed. Why? Its hard to listen to God when we are busy or in crowds. We have to take time to stop, depart from others, and listen. Satan likes to keep us busy and away from God. I pray that each of us can have the same control that Jesus had to stop and enjoy communion with God regardless of the criticism we may receive.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Eve of the Esthers and Revival

On the eve of our first gathering, I am filled with excitement. I have enjoyed completing my individual Bible study and look forward to coming together with this great bunch of ladies.

I'll go ahead and apologize that when you enter the doors of my home, you will not feel like you are in the scene from Esther 1. If it makes you feel better, I can arrange for each lady to have their own drinking glass unique to the others! Thanks to my own clumsiness, I don't have a full set of any glassware. I do have a variety of coffee cups and plastic cups.

I do look forward to this experience. So......Please pray for good weather, healthy children, and safe travel. Most importantly, pray for our Most Gracious Heavenly Father to be glorified. I also ask that you pray for our church's upcoming revival. It will be February 15 - 18. Revivals are so important for individuals, churches, and communities. Could I add maybe now more than ever?

The first revival I ever went to was in Allen Co. We were invited by our friends Holly and Greg. This night will live on in my heart forever. I was not a Christian, yet I knew the "basics." That evening was the last night of the revival. My friend Holly got up to sing Amazing Grace. I began crying. It was beautiful and God was talking to me. When the invitation was given, I wanted to go forward. Oh, and if anyone ever says Satan is not in church, they are wrong. He was there. God was calling me. It was the first time I had ever stopped to hear him. Yet, Satan was whispering in my ear. "You are so stupid. What are you crying for? These people don't know you. You don't belong here. If you go up there, they are going to think you are crazy." Well, the evil one won that night. I didn't go forward. I agreed with him. Thank God, however, that wasn't the last time I heard Him calling me. It would be a couple years later before I opened my heart to Jesus. I'll save that one for another day.

My son was saved during our fall revival last year. In a previous post, I stated that Colin is a pretty deep guy. That's no joke. Colin had been contemplating his own salvation for some time. I was terrified because of his age. I knew that some people walked down the aisle during invitations because their friends did, they wanted to drink communion juice, or thought it would be cool to be baptized. I never worried about that with Colin. He does not like to call attention to himself. He's pretty independent. You can forget about him voluntarily trying a new food or drink OR going under water for that matter. I was worried about him actually understanding what it meant to be saved. The second to the last night of our revival, I had nursery duty. When we got home, Jeffrey had told me about Colin wanting to go to the alter to pray during the invitation, so they did. Colin then began asking us lots of question about being saved. Immediately we called our preacher. The next night, we met with him and he talked with Colin. Colin decided that he wanted to be saved, so Bro. Copass prayed with him. We decided as a family that Colin would wait awhile before coming before the church. However, when the invitation was given, Colin said, "Mama, I'm going up there." What was there left to say. My heart lept with joy as it melted that he was growing up. I don't doubt Colin's salvation at all. He is strong willed and makes his own decisions. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me." The child did.

Revivals change people's lives. Praise God!