Cows Matter!

Since moving to Texas, I have learned many things. One thing I’ve learned is….cows matter. This may seem like a silly lesson, but it’s true. Just the other day, Greg and Jessie got the chance to go check the cows with one of our church members. This includes counting the cows, checking any for injury and checking the gates.

This care and concern for cattle reminded me of how much God cares for us. He is the Good Shepherd and we matter to Him. He doesn’t just count us, He has the very hairs on our head numbered. He keeps us from harm. He laid down His life for us. He feeds us, provides for us and protects us. Even when we wander away from Him, He comes to find us and carries us home.

What a wonderful reminder of our great, loving God!

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How Can I Know God’s Plan?

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“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalm 32:8

This verse has meant so much to me this year. God has brought it to my attention again and again. God offers to guide us along the BEST path for our lives.

But how can we KNOW what God wants for our lives?

Here are some things we need to remember when making decisions (big or small)….

#1 God Already Knows the Answer….. well, why doesnt he just light up a neon sign or something and tell me?!?
Remember, God is all about relationship. He wants you to invite Him into the decision making process. He wants you to ask Him for His advice.

#2 God Wants Your Heart….. Several years ago, Greg and I were praying about purchasing a home. And while I told God with my lips “let Your will be done” my heart was really saying, “but I want…” the moment I finally surrendered my heart was the moment He gave us clear direction. Remember, God wants your heart.

#3 Be Willing to Wait…. waiting for God’s answer is often one of the hardest things we will ever do. It is a test of our faith and our trust in Him. We often feel like the weight of life’s decisions are on our shoulders and if we are not waiting on God, they are.

#4 God May Already Be Speaking…. while God may not speak to us in a audible voice, He will speak to us through His Word, His Holy Spirit (Who lives inside of us), His people, and even circumstances. When God keeps bringing something to our attention again and again, we need to listen.

#5 His Perfect Peace…. God doesn’t play games with our lives. He has a plan and a direction and a purpose for us. We just have to be willing to ask, seek and knock. He promises to open the door. God’s way always brings perfect peace…because we know in our hearts we have done what God wants us to do. The weight of life’s choices are no longer on our shoulders, but His.

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Moving Day

Well…..it’s been awhile…

Things have been so busy over the past few weeks, but I’m happy to say that the Pastor’s family is settling in well. We absolutely LOVE our new home and our new church family. We are so blessed that God has placed us in this place at this time.

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                          (Our new home in Texas)

Moving day was crazy! On Wednesday night, we came over and had church services with our new church family, then headed home (about a 2.5 hour drive). The next morning we got the moving truck and it took us around 11 hours to get everything loaded. Let me just say that it is impossible to fully comprehend how much “stuff” a person owns until said person tries moving.

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                  (Jessie helping out on Moving Day)

We headed for a stop by our homefront in Louisiana (the home Pastor Greg and I own) to trade off a few items and stayed overnight. Air mattresses are NOT my cup of tea, but a PW can survive. The next morning my back was a wreck, but thank the Lord I was able to make the drive over to our final stopping place…Texas!

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                 (The rain was really coming down)

I was so thankful to see several of the men in our church already working hard around our new home and they were here waiting to help unload the moving truck…what a blessing! They had everything unloaded in about an hour.

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(Jessie riding the tractor & clearing trees with Bro. Gilbert)

Our youth group at church- BASIC (Brother and Sisters in Christ) provided our supper that night, pizza! (oh…they already know us so well). It was delicious and I was happy to know that the local pizzeria was a hit. (you know…the important stuff).

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            (Our first Sunday & Mother’s Day in Texas)

Tonight marks two weeks since we have come to Texas and really it feels like we’ve always been here. I guess that’s what home feels like.

We are still getting to know everyone, names and faces…but we already love them. That’s what family feels like, especially God’s family.

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                                (New friends)

These people are precious to us and have helped us so much in these first two weeks, I get teary eyed when I think about it. They truly are God’s goodness to me. And I pray that we in return will be a blessing to them.

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Saying Good-Bye

 

Sunday was our last day at the church that has been our home for more than two years.IMG_1261.JPG
( Central Missionary Baptist Church, Jonesboro, Louisiana )

God brought us to Central shortly after my mom passed away and it truly was home.
It was a place to heal.
A place to love and be loved.

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We love our church family here and will miss them dearly.
They were so good to our family.
We have so many precious memories here that we will cherish forever.

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( Pastor Greg playing around with the kids at church )

When your husband is a Pastor, you come to expect those late night calls from a church member,
those spur of the moment hospital visits,
and you also come to understand that wherever God leads him,
you will follow.

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( Precious Memories )

Even if it means leaving your home and friends behind.

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( Jessie and his Sunday School teacher, Sis. Julie )

I’m so thankful for the years we had at Central.
Jessie grew up here and so did we.
We have learned so much and have so much more to learn.
The church family here has been so gracious and so loving,
we couldn’t have asked for better.

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( Our last snow day in Jonesboro )

As I look ahead to the future, I know we have made the right decision
and I know we are doing what God wants.
I look ahead with excitement and anticipation.
Following God is always an adventure,
and I cannot wait to see what He has planned next.

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Pastor Greg’s Graduation

 

Last night we were blessed to celebrate my husband’s graduation from Seminary.
He received his Master of Theology from Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary.IMG_1251.JPG

( Pastor Greg is official now….though I told him I still ain’t calling him Master Greg….LOL )

This school has meant so much to my family and we are so honored that God placed us at this place, in this time.
We have made many wonderful friends through the seminary and God has used and will continue to use this school in so many ways in our lives.

Pastor Greg first surrendered to the ministry in 1998 and began LMBIS right after graduating from high school.
We were married in 2001 and due to his job situation, he had to quit seminary in his fourth year of school.
He always had a desire to go back to school and I kept encouraging him that when the time was right, God would open the door again.

That opportunity came in 2012 when God called Greg to pastor a wonderful church in Jonesboro, Louisiana.
With the church’s full support, he was able to go back to seminary and receive his Bachelor of Theology in May of 2014.

Last night he graduated receiving a Master of Theology degree.
I’m so proud of him and so thankful to God for this wonderful accomplishment.
We could not have done this without our church family to whom we are forever grateful.

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( Pastor Greg & Me…happy night )

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Are You Listening?

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Did you know that listening is just as important as talking in our prayer time?

I used to believe that prayer was all about me talking to God and Him listening. Boy, was I mistaken!

Jeremiah 33:3 says “Call unto me, and I will answer thee…”

Often, we don’t take time to listen.

To listen requires time.

And it’s important to remember that God always answers in His perfect timing, not ours.

A lot of times when we are praying consistently about something going on in our lives, we want an immediate answer. What we fail to remember is that God already knows the answer. God is all about relationship. He isn’t an errand boy who jumps at our every command and request.

Some people have asked me how to listen to God. After all, is He just going to answer our prayers audibly in that booming voice of His? How can we know what God wants us to do? How does God speak to us today?

Here are some things to keep in mind…

#1 God speaks through His Word it is impossible to totally ignore the Word of God and know His will for your life. The primary way God speaks to us is through His Word. The Bible is God’s revealed message to mankind. It is profitable for many things ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ) including instructing us in how we are to live our lives. The buck stops here when it comes to listening to God…and what I mean by that is that God never contradicts Himself. God will never say something to you that contradicts His Word ( the Bible ). So the rest of the things in this list must be held up against the Word of God and if it doesn’t jive with His Word, it ain’t Him speaking.

#2 God speaks through His Holy Spirit the moment we come into relationship with Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit takes up residency inside of us. God speaks to us through His Holy Spirit…convicting us of sin, stirring up our hearts for service, warning us against temptation, among many other things.

#3 God speaks through others for me, this is one of the major reasons I never want to miss a church service. What if I miss something God had to say to me through someone else? God can use anyone to speak to us, a pastor, a friend, even a small child. Always keep in mind that when someone gives you advice or counsel…it must line up with the Word of God.

#4 God speaks through our circumstances whenever a difficult situation comes up in our lives, we should first ask…”God, what are you trying to say to me?” But let’s not be fooled into thinking that God only speaks in our trials. God speaks in the joyous times too, but often we are not listening. He will get our attention.

At the beginning of the new year, someone brought an opportunity to our attention and we brushed it off. We said we would “pray about it”. Honestly my husband and I felt happy in the situation we were in and truly believed we were doing what God wanted us to do. The opportunity came up again…. and again- still we dismissed it without ever asking God what He wanted us to do.

On March 9th of this year, as I was spending my quiet time with God I felt Him say to me as clear as anything, “you didn’t even ask Me.” Though the opportunity had long ago left my mind, I knew EXACTLY what He was talking about. I quickly asked His forgiveness and texted my husband. I told him what happened and we both decided to pray earnestly about it. Later, he confessed that the opportunity had never left his thoughts.

Finally….we were listening.

It grieves me to think about the alternative. Sometimes God will go to great extremes to get our attention and speak to us. Other times, we miss His greatest blessings by our unwillingness to listen.

So, what about you?

Are you listening?

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