May 30, 2009

A C T S

I am reading through the book of Acts at the moment...taking my time to really study what the probable writer, Luke, had to say about the fulfillment of the promise of a Comforter. It is amazing to me how God moves by using not only my personal alone time, but also sermons that I hear and devotions that I read to coincide with one another. They seem, at times, to just go hand in hand together!

I was reading a Proverbs 31 devotional the other day (May 22) about God's Messengers. The devotional referenced Acts 6 which I had just been reading. It is somewhat a reference to the fact that we each have a different calling in the Kingdom, but of course there are many nuggets of truth in this passage. What caught my deepest attention was that Stephen was chosen as one of seven men to basically wait on tables! The devotional solidified the fact that Stephen was chosen to serve in this way...as a waiter.

Stephen. The martyr!

In the very next chapter of Acts, Stephen is martyred for freely sharing his faith in Christ. Of course, you probably remember that a man named Saul held the cloaks of the men throwing the stones.

Saul. Who later had THE Damascus Road experience with Jesus. The man who became Paul and wrote 2/3 of the New Testament.

I am having a hard time wrapping my feeble, human mind around the fact of simply serving with such a heart of love that I would be willing to be martyred for waiting tables! Do I really want to grow so deep in my faith that I am willing to lose everything, even my life, for a small act of service? Or even for a large act of service?

If I am willing to grow that deeply, how do I get there? Yes, there is the Bible reading and daily prayer, fellowship with the saints and deepening my personal relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. But, I've been doing that for years and I don't feel all that deep into it! If someone asks if I am a Christian, I don't hide it; however, I don't just go up to strangers on the street and share my faith.

Then, I was reading a post a few days later on MckMama's blog and Prince Charming was mentioning that he likes to use the A C T S acronym to pray.

A Adoration
C Confession
T Thanksgiving
S Supplication

I have heard this before, many years before actually. Isn't it neat how God brings us full circle? He reminds us, ever so gently, drawing us nearer to His bosom. This is His promise: Hebrews 10:19.Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20.by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21.and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22.let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23.Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

I question my own life...Do I love deeply enough to serve no matter what the cost? I hope so. God's promises are so clear, why is it so difficult to simply lean into His heart and fully serve?

Do you question yourself, or have you developed such a servant's heart? If you have, I would love to ask some questions of you. I know that God brings so many areas of life into focus at just the right time. Maybe, this is my time.

Thank you for letting me share from my heart.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.....

God's girl, Pamela

May 13, 2009

I Am Wrecked



If you would like to join other bloggers on this Wednesday walk, visit Lynnette's site for all the details.

I am doing this as a Wednesday's walk because this is a fresh memory that will linger for many years in my spirit. Oh, my friends, I am fully wrecked at this moment. I cannot yet say it is in a good way. However, I firmly believe in Romans 8:28! It says "ALL THINGS"!!!

A gentleman and his young son were found dead Friday morning in a park that my girls and I love to visit. They were members of our church, and even though we did not know them, we chose to stand with the body of Christ and attend the funeral yesterday.

Here is the link to the news story: Deaths at Ranch 111

Now, for my thoughts.

We did not personally know this family. We have only been a part of the same church since December and since Brody was his oldest child, we never had the opportunity for our paths to cross. Today, I am thankful for that.

I simply cannot fathom the hopelessness that would lead a father to take his son's life and then his own. Only God knows what was going on the in waning hours of Matt Knapp's life.

I listened intently as Matt's testimony of leading so many people to Christ was shared; first by his boyhood pastor that is now a staff member of our church, then as his brother shared his unique views of Matt's life, and lastly by our pastor who has known Mr. Knapp for a couple of years and watched him leading the young boys in Bible study faithfully on Wednesday nights.

Someone very close to me once attempted to take her own life. Even though it has been many years ago, I have found myself drawn back to memories of that time as God redeemed her precious life and has given her many more years to praise His name and live for Him. I would not have thought it possible, but I am even more thankful now that God spared her life than I have ever been.

The church was full....standing room only, truly. I know each one of us was comforted by the words of Mr. Knapp's boyhood pastor when he said, "Don't judge a whole life by the one act that ended it."

Romans 8:37-39
37.No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38.For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
39.neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


I will choose to hug my babies a bit closer tonight. I will choose to be thankful for the precious husband God has given me. I will choose to love. I will choose to follow Christ.

What is your choice?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

PS If you have time, please read my previous post about my daughter's unexpected award given at her public school for her faith ! Thank you.

May 8, 2009

I'm a Very Proud Momma!


Let me begin by saying, I love our DD1's public high school!!!!!! Love it!!!!

As most of you know, we are wrapping up her senior year! She has attended the same school all four years and is the president of NGSTRONG this year. In so many ways, we have been blessed all of these years by teachers, coaches and other students. Many of my Facebook friends came from previous classes at her high school!

We knew she would get two graduation awards: Texas Scholar and Honor graduate. She has worked hard for good grades and is ending her high school career with a 3.5gpa. That is all any of us were expecting...oh, and the top student in their class is graduating with a 4.75gpa!!! INSANE!

We were totally BLOWN AWAY by the goodness and grace of God, though, at last night's award presentation!

BLOWN AWAY!!! BY GOD!!!

When we were walking in, they gave us a sheet of paper that listed all of the various organizations that would be presenting either cash awards or scholarships to students. It was a long list, y'all! Dear Hubs looked at me at one point and asked, "Do you think she will get one of these?"

WE HAD NO CLUE!!!!


Before they began giving out those special recognition awards, they introduced the special people that were there representing families or companies that offered the recognition. The Craig Bennett family was asked to stand, his Mom, Dad and sister. We were told their son had been a football student at the high school in the early 90's and was tragically killed in a car accident the summer of '93.

Within a few minutes of beginning the awards presentation, one of the school counselors called our daughter's name. She was sitting near us and we all looked at her as she walked down, in disbelief. What was she getting? No one even told us about this being a possibility!!!

As she walked on stage, the counselor said our DD1 was receiving the Craig Bennett award. He explained further that Craig had been a strong Christian man, with deep morals and values that he was not afraid to share at school. Our DD1 was chosen for this small award because of her unwavering faith! He mentioned to all those in attendance last night that our daughter, God's precious daughter, was this years president of NGSTRONG and had lived out a life similar to Craig's!!!!

SHE WAS AWARDED, IN FRONT OF HUNDREDS, FOR HER FAITH!!!!

She is definitely more humble than me....I could have never been given such an award for the fact that pride would have taken over!!!! God knows the heart of my firstborn and has seen fit to lavish her with this very precious gift!

Can you say TEARS!!!! We were all tearing up! We have watched her walk with God through so many struggles during high school. We have prayed over teachers, students and coaches over the years. WE HAVE BEEN BEYOND BLESSED!!!!

If you want to stop reading right now, please do. I am about to crawl way up on my soapbox and share!

Dear Hubs and I are graduates of a Christian high school in our area. We could never have been used in the public school arena because of our attitudes....we really know very little about what it means to be in public school. When we moved into our home 12 yrs ago, we knew the high school was close and were a bit concerned about living so close to the school. We enrolled DD1 in our old school, partly because that was what we knew....that is where we were comfortable!

Then God moved!
DD1 did not do well in first grade at our alma mater...first grade, y'all. So, what is a Momma to do? Well, I prayed! And God began to pull me out of my boat of comfort. I felt a tremendous stirring to enroll DD1 in the elementary school in our neighborhood, the one right behind the high school. I thought, surely, this was my own small way of thinking. God could provide a Christian school for her, including the finances....if that was His will!

Can I just say that we never have known exactly why this is God's calling on our children's lives. NEVER! There have been a lot of tears and sleepless nights over things going on in their lives and most of those start at school. Many times, I have said if they could only be in a private school, things would be better. Many times, I have been wrong!!!

His will, the God of the universe, y'all, desires for my children to go through the local public school system.

The beginning of DD1's sophomore year, God stirred deep in her heart to pray for her basketball team. I mean really pray, not just throw them up before the Lord and go on her merry way. She really put hours into praying for each one of them, and the coaches.

It would have been really nice for all of us, if those prayers had just been answered during the course of that year. But, as most of you know, God does not work on our time....He has His own time table. That year, she became co-captain of the JV basketball team...at the behest of the coach, not the team. Many of her teammates were angry that the position went to her, and they were not silent about how they felt. While we were so proud of her for following through with what the coach asked of her, we could feel a portion of her pain as we watched her cry over games, players, everything!

Then, the end of her jr. year, she came in one day and said she was feeling God was asking her to not play basketball her senior year. Can you say broken hearted??? She had started on the team her freshman year...three years straight. She had invested so much time in this area of her life, while upholding a great gpa and being part of the honor choir two of those years!

God spoke! And my precious daughter listened.

This year has been a roller coaster all it's own! NGSTRONG has taxed her limits of leadership...those under her are high school students - can you imagine??? For the second time in high school, she has taken an advanced class, but not taken the final exam for college credit. We changed churches in the middle of the school year. She has matured. In her spiritual walk, she has greatly matured.

She knows she wants to work with young people in her career. Right this moment, she is not sure what that looks like. She had a plan, but now feels God calling her down a different path. Out of her comfortable boat.

Many of her coaches, teacher and counselor's have been unwavering Christians. I know they hold their students up in prayer. You can feel it when you walk in their classrooms or office!!! They love their students because they love God more.

We need Christians in our public schools! My daughters have seen much more of life than I had at their age. Some of it, I will be honest, I would have preferred they waited to see. However, through all of it, God has held the hearts of my precious children. God has a plan for their life, and it started in public school!!!

My soapbox is that if you feel God calling you to put your child/ren in the area's school system, don't be afraid of it
! Do what God is calling you to do. I personally know it is not easy but this moment, I would not trade these years for anything!!!

My heart is full. I am a very proud Momma. I am a very grateful daughter of our King.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.....

God's girl, Pamela