Thursday, December 31, 2009


Early in the year 2009, my husband worked as a buffer for the hospital at Ft. Hood. Though he only worked for eighteen hours a week, he was still able to have health insurance, and we were able to get several things accomplished health wise: a sleep apnea test for Kev, eye exams and glasses for him, a complete physical, and I was able to get a well-woman visit. What a blessing to get some of these things done that we had been needing.

As far as military ministry goes, we have had many open doors on various military bases. My husband received a letter of recommendation from an upper-level chaplain. There are several bases with open doors, and we are praying for workers. Also, we are seeking better ways to help military folks reach their own people. Our plan is to go through whatever open doors the Lord shows us.

In March, we were able to purchase a 1997 Ford Expedition. Since our mini-van was very small for our six kids, several of whom are adults, and the air conditioning didn’t work very well, the Expedition was a very very welcome addition to our family! Also, the Lord sold our minivan for us only days before we had to leave for our trip! Thank you, Lord!

Early this year in Taylor, TX, my husband and I got to lead some people to the Lord side-by-side at the invitation. How wonderful it is to be in God’s service together!

Jonathan and Stephen worked jobs as “building maintenance” guys, painting and cleaning rental houses. It was their first experience in secular employment, and it was a very good experience for them.

One of the most important meetings of the year was in Fayetteville, NC. It was here that the Lord raised up about ten workers for the military ministry there. The Holy Spirit was working in a mighty way, and the meeting after the preaching was wonderful. Time will tell what the results of that meeting will be.

This year I began walking, then jogging, and finally I am now up to running about two miles three or four times a week. It has been a real blessing to me, and to the rest of the family. Jonathan has been my great encouragement and jobbing partner, though Kev has been my staunch supporter, as well. For his exercise, Kev purchased a folding bike, which he rides sometimes.

As a family, we read some very interesting books, especially Children of the Storm, Jimmy Moore of Bucktown, The Duggars: Twenty and Counting, and the Reverend Spy. Each of these books was a blessing to me, especially the book about the Duggars. The book about the spy was absolutely riveting!

We began memorizing larger passages of Scriptures, including Philippians 2:3-11 and the first half of James chapter one. These have been a blessing and encouragement to all of us!

One of the new things that happened this year is that Jonathan began courting a sweet girl. While up in Michigan in August, he talked with her father, who gave permission for him to talk to her about a possible courtship. She prayed about it for several days, and then returned with her ok. Since then, they’ve been writing and talking on the phone.

Just a few days ago we had a very sad thing happen. Jonathan had gone up to Michigan to visit with his lady friend, and had only been there a few hours when they received a phone call saying that her older brother and his wife had gotten into a horrible fiery accident. His wife, who was expecting, lost the baby and was badly injured. Within minutes, they took Jonathan back to the airport to go back to Kathy’s, and they went down to be with their son. The next day, yesterday, he passed away. Sadly, his wife’s discovered that her little sister died in a crash that very day. Lord, give strength to that family.

In October, there was a terrorist attack on the soldiers of Ft. Hood. One of the fellow soldiers, Maj. Nadal Hassan, a Muslim who was scheduled to deploy to Iraq, opened fire. Though we were not there, we were very saddened by the loss, there was greatly heightened security at the military base we were at.

As a family, we were so blessed to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with my father and Eunice at the prophet’s house at Friendship Baptist Church in St. Paul’s, NC. Though I had just a very few days to prepare, the whole celebration went very well. We were able to celebrate Thanksgiving Day on Thursday and birthdays on Friday. We held a triple birthday celebration: Johanna’s, Dad’s, and Sharon’s! What a time we had.

Also, in December, we were allowed of God to record another CD. We’re asking the Lord to bless it in a special way.

This year’s theme is “God Leads His Dear Children Along.” Many times we were led step by step as we sought the Lord’s guidance, and He has been faithful every step of the way!

Thank you, Lord, for Your provision and guidance in the year 2009! We dedicate this next year to You!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Duty + Desire = DELIGHT!

A few years ago, when my mother passed away, we were all worried about how Dad would survive. After all, he was about 78 then, and hardly cooked much on his own. However, over the years, Dad has become a gourmet chef. He makes all kinds of strange things, like French Onion Soup with Gratinee, Mini Crab Cakes, and Boston Clam Chowder. For our Thanksgiving Dinner, he was considering making a Turduckin: a turkey stuffed with a duck which is stuffed with a chicken! As it was, he made a real knock-‘em dead stuffing for our celebration!

One time at the dinner table during his visit for the Thanksgiving holiday, I mentioned to him offhandedly, “You know, Dad, if you would have made all these fancy meals when I was younger, we would not have had to suffer with casseroles that had been put in the refrigerator by Mom when she went back to college.” We were all thankful that Mom did her best to provide food for us while she had to be gone, but it was not quite the same.

The exchange got me to thinking. Naturally, when Dad was younger and he was working too, he didn’t really want to do any gourmet cooking, though his eggs and bean soup were everyone’s delight. But I couldn’t blame him for not wanting to take to the kitchen. After all, he had a tight schedule and a great cook at home. But it’s interesting to think that the activity which he had no desire to do years ago, he loves now. And the food he makes now completely eclipses anything he made back then!

When we have a duty and it seems like just a duty, it is hard to turn it into a masterpiece. However, when we take that duty, like cooking, and add desire to it – the desire to create something wonderful, the desire to be an encouragement, the desire to be a blessing – it becomes a work of art. It all depends on our attitude.

Do we desire to be a blessing, or merely to survive? I know there are times when we go into what I call “survival mode,” but that should not be our normal operating procedure. We as mothers can create a wonderful atmosphere for our families, if we only put our hearts into it.

It is the difference between merely writing a letter, and adding a touch of beauty to it through stickers or drawings. It is the difference between getting our husband a cup of tea and serving it to him with a flourish. It is the difference between “doing the laundry” and being a specialist in garment revitalization!

We have the opportunity to really be a blessing to our families, if only we had the desire.

It is the difference between duty and delight.