Wednesday, June 9, 2010

That’s my Boy!

Well, I promised a blog on my son Brandon.  Brandon is my second child, my only boy.  I gave birth to him when I was 19 years old.  My daughter and him are 2 years and 1 month apart. Yes, you read that right; I had 2 children at age 19. Easy? NO NO NO!!! Worth it?  Absolutely!

Brandon is my comedian.  Is that boy hilarious!  But, his humor sometimes gets in his way.  He gets in trouble—a lot at school because he has to be the center of attention and loves to make people laugh.  He loves to diffuse situations when people are upset by being funny.

This son of mine is also called to do great things for the Kingdom of God.  He has been prophesied over that he will do amazing things that will not only change the Nation, but the world.  Does that make a momma’s heart proud!  WOW! Yes! We had one of our guys at church tell us a few weeks back that Brandon (who was at the altar praying for adults) had placed his hand on his back and he said “I just felt fire go down my whole back and legs!” Yes, my son is called to be a mighty man of God.  I don’t mind reminding him of that either.  He needs to remember that there is something so great ahead of him that he can’t even fathom it.

Brandon has a huge heart.  When Hurricane Katrina went through, he was very upset over the images.  Right after his birthday, he came to me, handed me his birthday money, and asked me to please make a donation in his name; “the people there need it way worse than me momma”.  That’s my boy! Another time, quite recently, there was a friend of his that couldn’t be located.  He asked me if he could get a friend and go on a search.  He felt ill and needed to find this person.  Yes, he has such a big heart.076

Brandon and his sister did not always get along, esp. only being 2 years apart.  Man, did they ever fight!  It is no wonder I have gray hairs!  However, recently since they have both matured they have become close.  It came to pass that they were in an alliance against us!  Yup…parents of younger children, hang in there! The day will come they will actually GET ALONG!!!! GASP!!! Just a bit ago, Brandon was having some girl problems and was talking to me about it; well, then decided he would call his sissy to ask her.  That made my heart smile. They talked on the phone, said “ I love you” to each other and that was that.  How nice to see that my dreadful thoughts about them always hating each other proved to be false. 035

Brandon has always been my little thinker.  My daughter is very very open with her feelings (sometimes to a fault).  Not so with him. He can be thinking about something and you’ll never know.  He is an observer, taking in every little detail, figuring out how the pieces fit.  Here’s an example of his thought process.  Several years ago, when they were about 13 and 11 we went to my bosses’ home in Roan Mountain, TN.  Knowing we would be in the mountains for a week we bought Shelby several of the “teen girl” magazines…you remember ‘em'; Teen Bop and stuff like that.  So, anyway, one of their fights started.  Next thing we know, she is having a canary screaming at him (I think she yelled “stupid little idiot”).  Upon questioning both of them, we found out that she had made him mad, he had then taken her teen magazines and chopped them up with an ax! My bosses back deck overlooks a beautiful big waterfall and stream.  Brandon proceeds to say “well, I was gonna throw them in the stream, but I was afraid I would stop it up and flood the whole town!”

Yup…that’s my boy!  


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Tuesday, June 8, 2010


So lately I have been tempted.  NO!  I know what you all are thinking! Not in that way!  :) I have been on a diet program fairly stringently for a couple of months.  I have been tempted lately; and I have failed.  I can get back on the track though and continue to lose weight, or I can decide to continue eating what I want and stay at my current weight or even gain some back.  The choice is mine.

This is the way with all of our temptations.  We are given a choice.  It is up to us as to what we do.  The Bible tells us clearly that God does not tempt us.  Ever.  James tell us this :When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”  We are tempted by our own evil desires; our flesh; our worldly man. Then it says this in I Corinthians: “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” You see, God provides us a way out! It is our choice though as to which way we are gonna go. God will always, always provide you a way out.

Now what happens if we choose the wrong road?  Do we have to stay on that road?  Do I have to each day eat wrong because I messed up one day? Of course not; that’s ridiculous!  I can make a choice to order the right things or fix the right things at home and get back on track.  It is the same way with God. We are offered grace to cover our sins.  We are offered a chance to start over.  Lamentations puts it so wonderfully:

Yet this I call to mind
       and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
       for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning;
       great is your faithfulness.

His mercy never runs out. Does this mean we can just live like the dickens and sin all we want knowing grace is there for our taking?  That’s ridiculous too! 

The point is this: we all mess up but we can be freely forgiven if we just ask.  God does NOT tempt you but He will always provide us a way out.  And last but certainly not least---you don’t have to stay on the road you’re on if you are sinning.  We mess up, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and continue on.  Or, in my case, I throw away the chocolate bar that I want sooooo bad, and get back on that diet!


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Saturday, June 5, 2010

God at the Top

One of the classes I am taking right now is called “Christian Spirituality”  It is truly a wonderful class.  I have gained so much knowledge and insight by reading Tozer’s “In Pursuit of God”.  This is small (10 chapters), yet powerful book about the seeking of God.  Each week I have to pick a chapter and write a spiritual reflection on it.  Normally, the only one who sees these are my professor and myself.  This week however, the chapter really hit home with me, so I thought I would share with you what I wrote.  It’s just a tidbit, so I recommend this book to each of you who want to seek Him with all of your heart.  Enjoy!

Chapter 8-Restoring the Creator-Creature Relation

“Not perfection, but Holy intention made the difference” (99). To me, this sums up my relationship with Christ. I am so far from being perfect. I am so far from being what I want to be. However, I am so much better in Him that what I was in the world. I know that I can be forgiven and that He will help me. I know that, like David, even though I mess up, if I have a heart after God, He will meet me where I am.

Many people think that one has to be perfect or somewhat perfect in order to be saved. This is simply not true. God wants you as you are; and then He will take the lead in changing your heart, mind, spirit.

As Tozer tells us in this chapter “God will unveil His glory before His servant’s eyes…” (101) All we have to do is put Him in His proper spot. We must put Him above our money, our job, our recreation, even our families. He must be exalted over all or we will throw off the balance which was put into place by God in the beginning.

Tozer goes to great lengths to make sure we understand that God is the “I am”. Nothing exists outside of Him. Nothing is above Him or beyond Him. He states that in relationships there must be a center (94). “Such a center is God” (94). God should be the center of our lives. Everything we do, say, and feel should be related to God. Is this easy? No. However, he has promised us help; the Comforter.

Another point Tozer made that I particularly like is that “every soul belongs to God and exists by His pleasure” (96). We may think we can run and hide from the creator of the world. We can’t. Everywhere we go He is there. Psalm 139: 7 states “where can I go from your Spirit; where can I flee from your presence?” (NIV) That is the answer. We were made for God. We were made for His pleasure. We do not have to be any certain way; He already knows our hearts. We just have to be willing to come to Him. We have to be willing to admit our sin. We have to be willing to exalt Him over all things. We have to know that He is the great I AM.

Works Cited

Tozier, A.W. “The Pursuit of God” 2006. Wing Spread Publishers. Camp Hill, PA.


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Monday, May 31, 2010

A Tribute to My Mamow

Well, many of you know that I was in Georgia for a few days with my Mamow, who was in the hospital for 2 weeks.  I thought that I would share with you about this awesome woman and why I love her so much.

My Mamow’s name is Grace. She is the mother of my biological father (from whom I am estranged). For the longest time when I was a little girl, I thought the song “Amazing Grace” was about her.  I mean, I thought she was pretty great, and thought that everyone else should think so too. So, when we would go to church, which we always did, and I would hear them singing that song, I would just join in and sing loud ‘cause after all, it was MY Mamow we were singing about. I was the first born grandchild for her and we had and still have a very special bond.

Mamow is blind.  She has been blind since she was a little girl.  This has not stopped her from living life though.  She raised 4 children pretty much on her own.  She taught herself to play piano, guitar, and drums; and has played all of them in church.  She sings like an angel; she is where I got my signing talent from I am sure. She taught me my first song to sing in a talent show when I was 7.  It was something about climbing up sunshine mountain, where heavenly breezes blow.  I won that talent show. Mamow has always been my biggest fan.

When I was small we would take a walk to the downtown shops and go to a consignment shop called “Lollipop Lane” where I would surely talk Mamow into buying me some frock in there that I just couldn’t live without.  Then, we would walk to the corner Woolworth’s and buy hot roasted cashew nuts.  All the while, I would be leading her; telling her when to watch her step and when cars were coming.  I protected her. 

My friends never could understand why I was so excited to be spending time with my grandma.  They just didn’t understand how much fun we had when we were together.  We would lay in bed at night ‘til all hours telling goofball jokes and just laugh and laugh. 

I had a thing for soup and, not together!! That’s disgusting!  I loved eggs, but they had to have the yolk in them so that I could dunk my toast.  Well Mamow not being able to see would sometimes poke my yolk and bust it.  She would then put the egg on her plate and cook me another one.  We went through this until I had the egg I wanted and then she would eat the others.  We often joke that that is why she has high cholesterol.  My soup love was stronger.  If I didn’t have soup for lunch I didn’t think I had eaten.  My mom would come pick me up after she got off work and I would quickly tell her that Mamow had not fed me.  Mamow would say “well Buttons (her nickname that she still calls me), don’t you remember you had a grilled cheese?” Well, I didn’t have soup and to me I was starving! I loved to have Mamow’s hand made biscuits.  I would stand on the stool next to the counter beside her while she put all the ingredients into the bowl and then she would make a hole in the middle and pour the buttermilk in the hole, all the while mixing with her hands to “feel” for the perfect consistency.  Remember, she couldn’t see to measure out anything, it was all by feel. Then they would come out of the oven and I would smear butter on that biscuit and just know I was in Heaven.

My parents divorced when I was 8 and I felt my life had been ripped from me when I had to move away from Mamow. I can only imagine how she felt. We spent all waking hours together.  My mom had to work a lot, so it was Mamow who took care of me.  She practically raised me for 8 years.  She used to watch her “stories” in the afternoons.  At that point, she could still see shadows and would lay on her stomach on the floor in front of the big console TV.  I would go lay on her back and ultimately fall asleep.  Mamow would just lay in the floor until I woke up.  After my parents divorced, we did still see each other; she would come stay with me, my mom, and my stepdad (who later adopted me).  When I was 16 I went to live with Mamow for about 6  months.  Those were some of the best times ever.  I hated to leave her, but for her health reasons, I had to go.  During that time though, Mamow made sure I got back into church and she pushed me (literally) on to the platform to sing a song; the first song I had sang in a long time.  She told me God had given me a gift and I must, must, must use it for His glory.  So, I practiced and she would tell me “go back to that second verse Buttons and try to hit that note a little stronger” I hated that song by the time I sang it!! Ok, well  not really, but I was tired of it. :)

Yes, she was always my best friend and even as a teenager I knew I could trust her with anything.  When I would get in trouble (which was very often as a teen), I would call her collect to talk to her about it (there were no cell phones back then!)  She still tells people that she knew when I called in the middle of the day collect that I was in some type of trouble.  She was actually the first person I called when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter at 17.  I knew she would calm me and have some words of wisdom.  I was right.

Yes, she is an amazing woman.  This blog is just the tip of the iceberg.  I could write for hours telling you stories about her.  She is an amazing woman of God and loves Jesus.  I know many nights I made it home because she was on her knees praying for me. She believed in me when no one else did.  She encouraged me and never judged me; EVER. She loved me no matter how I messed up.  She always told me God has chosen me for a great work.  She was and is my biggest fan.  I know she would lay down her life for me.  I have never once doubted her love for me.

So you see, I have to be there for her.  If it means driving to Georgia, then I will.  If it means staying in the hospital all night with her and not sleeping because she bottoms out, then I will do it.  I will do whatever it takes to be there for her as she always was for me.  I will rub her back and hair to calm her while nurses are sticking her with needles.  I will read to her to help her relax.  Whatever needs to be done, I will do that because she always did that for me. She is an awesome woman of God. She was my strength when I was weak and a prayer warrior for me before I acknowledged I needed prayer.  She is a fighter; an over comer.  She is my Mamow; and I am HER biggest fan.


Sunday, May 23, 2010


I was listening to my Mandisa CD the other day (love that girl!) and her song “Voice of a Savior” came on.  I truly LISTENED to the words and started thinking about how true those words are.  We all have a hole in our heart; our Spirits that we need filled.  We try to fill them with all kinds of different things.  Some of us try drugs, sex, alcohol.  Others look for it in success or money or earthly things.  Still some look for it in attention from the opposite sex or even in their spouses. Some just love to deny that there is a God; yet only God could make someone as remarkable as you!

We all have a place that needs to be filled.  I have talked to so many people over the years that have said “I just feel like there is something more out there.” Well, yes there is.  I have never been so happy as when I am doing God’s work.  I have never been so happy as when I was in China, filthy dirty with mud building those people a church. Never will we be so fulfilled as when we are serving God and others.

I looked around my church this morning and saw so many people from so many different backgrounds.  I saw people who had once been hooked on drugs.  I saw people who have been having marital problems due to their own mistakes (and we all make mistakes). I saw people who have been hooked on alcohol and some who have been in jail.  But, I saw them all gathered in one place praising God.  They found what fills that hole in their heart.  They found out it is not alcohol, drugs, sex, or otherwise.  No, they found their space is only filled by the living God; the God who made the universe.  The God who formed the sky, moon, stars and YOU.  They found they are truly happy when they are in His fellowship. 

We all have to come to the conclusion in our own way (see blog on Point of Brokenness) and we can fight it as long as we want to.  We may feel like we don’t want to give up our current way of life.  We may feel like we won’t have any fun.  Let me assure you of this…I have been drunk, high, etc and never did I truly have fun.  My church family means the world to me and with them, I truly have fun.

So, now we all have a choice…what or Whom will you let fill your spot? You are in need of a savior…will you listen to His voice, as He is constantly speaking, and allow Him to come in and fill your God space? Will you allow your life to overtaken by the one who gave it to you? Will you offer yourself to Him to use for His glory? Will you listen to the voice of a savior?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


The Bible tells us that “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”.  So my question to you is: how hungry are you?  How thirsty are you?  My husband spoke on this last night in youth and it really hit home with me.  Sometimes I don’t feel like I do enough.  Sometimes I feel I am just not good enough.  No matter how hard I try, how hard I pray, how hard I seek God.  I just feel like I fall flat on my face.  I feel like I make a mess out of things.  I feel like I don’t the “right” things to say to someone who comes to me seeking advice or needing to be ministered to.  Sometimes I  just feel empty…..

This week has been one of those weeks for me.  I feel empty. I don’t feel like I have another thing to give.  I was supposed to preach at youth last night and I just could not do it.  I have had personal problems; people who are dear to me have been sick and have to have tests run this week and next week; I have had the enemy come against me in so many ways-and it’s only Thursday!! So, I told Michael “baby, I just can’t do it.  You have to preach.”  You see, we minister out of our overflow.  If I don’t have an overflow (and right now I don’t feel as if I do), then how can I minister to people?  I am sure I could’ve prayed and fasted and God would’ve given me the energy and grace to preach, but I just did not feel I could do it.

So, now what is it I need to do?  Well, the above tells me what I need to do.  I need to hunger and thirst for righteousness.  I need to pray, fast, and grab hold of God.  I need to tell him like Jacob did in the Bible “I am NOT letting go until you bless me” And I need to mean it.  I need to dig my heels in and be ready to go for it.  The awesome thing is that I really don’t have to do much; just seek.  I need to come to Him hungry, weary, and ready to receive.  That’s all; He’ll meet me right where I am.  That’s the awesome thing about Jesus.  He is ever ready and willing to refuel us.  All He wants is a contrite heart and a willing spirit.  I do mess things up.  Why? I am human.  He is there to make it right though.  He is there to scoop me up in His arms, smother me with grace and fill me up with His spirit.  He is there to love me.  Do I deserve it? NO; none of us deserve what He did for us…that is grace at work. 

Are you tired? Worn out? Weary? Then, come to him hungry and thirsty, ready to receive.  He will meet you right where you are…

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More of the Michael Chronicles

Well, people loved hearing about the crazy boy who turned into my husband! I have had so many questions; legitimate ones.  “How did his family feel?” “How did they react to you?” “When did you tell Shelby?” So….I will continue the Michael and I story here in this blog.

Well, of course his family loved and still love him.  They were not too sure of me.  I can’t blame them at all.  Of course, at that time, I just didn’t understand why they didn’t know I loved him.  As a mom with a soon to be 17 yr old boy I can say that I would not be too sure about the situation if my son came home with a girl who was pregnant by someone else. Like any relationship it took time. They got to know me and my heart…they talked to me and heard my story.  They realized that I really did love Michael. I will say this…they never judged me and they never treated Shelby any way but like family.  After a little bit, they came to see that I wasn’t looking for a daddy for my baby when Michael came along.  I wasn’t looking for anything; but God had a plan.

As far as telling Shelby that Michael wasn’t her biological father, we waited until she was about 12.  Why did we wait so long? Well we waited because we thought it was best.  We wanted her to be able to understand the whole story.  BUT we didn’t want her to old enough to feel like she had been lied to for her whole life. I know you are asking yourself “well, how did you tell her?  What did you say?” Well, I am so glad you asked :)

We simply told her the truth.  I told her that her father had not been ready. Even though he was way older than I was, he just wasn’t ready to mature.  I told her he left us.  I told her I went to school and worked at Publix to save money to buy everything I needed to provide for her because at that point I didn’t know I was going to have a husband.  She cried.  She wept.  She just looked at us like we had shattered her life.  That’s some of the worst pain I have ever felt as a mom…the feeling that I ripped my daughter’s heart out. We asked her if that made her feel any different about Michael.  She just looked at us.  Then, she went to take a shower.  I remember this like it was yesterday.  She called me into the bathroom.  Once I was in there she said this “momma, remember how you asked me if this made me feel different about daddy?  Well, it does…it makes me love him even more.”  I knew then that God was in control of all of it!  All the pain that I had felt, all the pain that she could’ve felt.  God brought me into a family-Michael’s family that accepted me and Shelby.  They love us.  God brought me a husband and Shelby a dad.

In summary, I just want to say that I love writing these because it makes me remember all that Michael and I have been through.  It makes me look back and remember times that I usually don’t think of.  It makes me see the hand of God was all over our lives way before we served Him.  He has a plan…believe it!

Now, as you know we have a son named Brandon and no, I haven’t forgotten him.  He has his own blog coming…. :)