Monthly Archives: March 2011

Devotions/Breakfast/Meetings

“It is no longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me…

It is no longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me.”

Does Christ live in you?  He should be evident in our lives.  Every day.

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“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding great joy, . . . “ Jude 24 NKJV

This morning, as we gathered to hear Otis share his heart, his ministry struggles, his life struggles, I found that through his walk and story, I found myself there through various times of my life. 

What kept me?  Jesus living in me.

What keeps you?  If you have given Jesus the complete rule and reign of your life—if He holds the only deed to your heart—He keeps you.  In the roughest of times.  And in those most desperate of times, He will find a way to reach you….no matter how far you’ve wandered.

Thanks Otis, for a great devotion. (There was MUCH more to it than this, but I found it hard to type and really listen.)


Sue Nigh, Heartland Conference Retreat Center Executive DirectorOfficial camp business, including election of the new director for the Assemblies of God camp network, Sue Nigh, took place Wednesday night. 

Congratulations Sue!

 

 

 


100_0507We finish Thursday morning up with a great breakfast, giveaways and round table discussions on what has “worked” best in “your camp”. 

By the way, for all of you who read the devotional blog story from last year on Laced With Grace, you might remember with a chuckle what happened at the camp director’s meeting…our “first” time here.  Well, Jeff, being his precious self, corrected what might have been perceived as a poor first impression from last year.  And we all laughed…as Jeff shared what we experienced at our district camp this year through a great group of people from Arkansas this year.

For my regular readers, Jeff and I are blessed in so many ways in our daily walk with the mentors and contacts God has given us, and through your faithful prayers.  Thank you for staying with us these past several days as we’ve traveled along—experiencing God—in so many ways.  And YES.  I did pray for the snow that is laying on the ground.  And yes, I believe God loves me just that much to send it.  It’s melting now, but it was a spectacular sight yesterday as we sat in meetings all day and watched it flutter to the ground.  So graceful, just as God’s love pours out on each one of us.


100_0420As we each leave this place today, going to our respective camps, with a fresh vision in our hearts, we pray for one another—that God will bless and grow each camp to bless and grow lives—and those who will attend each camp in the coming months. 

We need to remember, what we do for Christ today—will change lives forever.

 

Thanks Kevin, Kevin, Otis, Sue and Randy for making this all possible!  This has been a truly wonderful experience!

Now, as a voice from the south, “Y’all drive careful going home”

Ohio—I sure enjoyed your snow!

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© The Knightly News-Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


Day Two of Conference

What an incredible conference so far!

Jeff and I have learned more than our little brains can hold.  I’ve taken notes, some hand written, some typed…and we’ve just tried to soak it all in.  What a PLACE this is!

I’m inserting some pictures of the tour of today—and the speakers today so far.  I forgot one photo—Ebon Carter, Executive Director of Sun Stream Camp in Iowa.  Ebon, I apologize.  I think you are on some of the other pictures though. 🙂

Great speakers, very informative.  Hope we can utilize what we’ve learned!

Carl, the incredible cook, has done an amazing job!  We have been so blessed on this trip….and guess what happened today?

If you are a regular reader…you know how I feel about snow.  Guess what God did?  AND yes, I do claim this as a gift—especially when I checked the weather last night and it didn’t mention snow…and today…surprise!

Something incredibly neat that they have here is a “Nature Building”.  I found some creatures in there that I’d never seen before—at least not in person.

Take a peek.

 

 

 

 

 

It may be next week before I finish all the blogging regarding this trip! 🙂

What an amazing place!

Thanks Sue and Randy for a great tour and great hospitality!

Stay tuned for more! 


Heartland Conference and Retreat Center

Wow.  I think as Jeff has been driving, my mouth has been hanging open at so much magnificent landscapes. Beautiful.

We arrived this morning at Heartland and unloaded our bags, then drove around the property.  I saw a deer.  I know what you’re thinking.  We have deer at home, but this deer stood stock still and stared me down.  I even slapped my leg.  Jeff said, “It’s fake.”100_0151

“No it’s not”, I replied, “his head moved.”

As I eased closer, he turned and ran.  Then three that I didn’t see followed suit.

I had started this morning and asked the Lord for “neat” stuff, and over and over today, I’ve witnessed neat stuff.  You MUST pay attention to see what He is showing you.


I’m a country girl.  We drove through Cincinnati and while the buildings were amazing, I knew right away, city life is not for me.  Put me in the country where the corn fields, the wheat fields and rice fields are, sprinkle the landscape with cattle and trees and ponds and woods, and I am happy as a lark.


Back to the subject at hand.  The Heartland Conference Center.  The COUNTRY is exactly where this amazing place is located. We are here in Marengo, Ohio attending a Camp Director’s Conference, gleaning all we can from seasoned camp directors. 

As I stood listening to Jeff share some of the things he has learned in the past 6 years at West Florida District Camp, I realize all over again how proud I am of my man.  He enjoys his job, and derives great pleasure from helping others, and improving all he can of his surroundings.100_0158

The facilities at Heartland are incredible.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I will hush now and let you see for yourself!

This building is “Hickory Lodge”.  It is the facility where we are staying and having the conference.  It is just one of many buildings on this camp ground site.

Amazing.


100_0324Jim Palmer, Ohio Network Secretary brought a very inspiring message.  Encouraging us to guard our “hearts”—serving the LORD with all our “hearts”. 

Ministry is full time.  Any type of ministry is full time.  When you serve God—you are giving Him your best, not your leftovers.  Others are encouraged by your life of service.  It’s easy to get tired in the job, tired of going and giving of yourself constantly.  I know, we’ve been there.  But when you see a life changed—when you see the impact of ministry –it’s like it gives you a booster shot of spiritual adrenalin.  It changes your view.  Sort of like cleans your glasses—you can SEE again.   You can “hear” your calling again.

When Jim opened up with the statement about how he knew those who worked in camp ministry didn’t take the job for the money, or the benefits, or the time off—because if you are in that particular ministry—you already know what I’m talking about.  “Nuff said”.

It’s about making a difference.


Now, some pictures of the view from here….

 

There are tons more pictures to share.  The woods…the creek, the icicles hanging from the creek banks…

If you live anywhere near this place, it would benefit your group to utilize their facilities for your next women’s, men’s, youth, or young adult retreat!

Just wait until you see the rest of the pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

© The Knightly News-Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


The Farm Day

Since we will be traveling, I thought I’d share with you some of the farm life from “these parts”.

We have so enjoyed being here, and participating in their everyday life—and now, I have such a GREATER appreciation for RICE.  I will never cook another pot of rice without thinking of Chris and Pam.

100_3517The morning I helped Pam with lunch, she had the company of her two sweet grandsons, Dylan and Kyle.  (This made me miss mine like crazy!)  They were completely occupied and not a bit of trouble while their “Mamo did her thing” in the kitchen.  They are used to the farm routine.

Pam cooks every day, a Sunday style dinner, for their employees, which consists from anywhere from 10-14 and maybe sometimes more.  Depending on summer help. Every day.  I’m not sure you get my drift. 

Ladies, every-single-day from April 1-the end of October, a SUNDAY STYLE HOME COOKED LUNCH.  And when lunch has been delivered to the various fields, which she does, then most likely two hours later, she heads back home to clean the kitchen and catch up on the house work that didn’t get completed that morning—and THEN she gets a fresh hot –home cooked supper ready for her hard working man.  Every-single-day.

You know, I’m still not sure you are feeling the back pain.  Maybe you will before this post is done.  You may even get a taste of dust in your mouth from the fields.  I did.  Every time I rolled the window down to snap a shot—I got a mouth full of Arkansas dust.  It has a different taste than Holmes, Jackson or Washington County dust.  It’s a bit dryer.

Jeff left that morning with Chris –when we caught up with them at lunch on our second stop of lunch delivery, in a swirl of dust, I saw my precious man sitting in the cab of the massive tractor with Chris.  The Big Boss.100_3524 

Chris was giving Jeff the “true lay of the land” story I am sure.  He shares his vast knowledge of the fields, the process and even the heartaches that go along with living in this beautiful land.  Everything must be just right.  The timing, the dryness, the rain, the irrigation, everything depends on them working with God—hand in hand.

Chris and Jeff were running the leveling plane over the acreage.  Everything MUST be level.  When the growth of rice gets to a certain stage, the fields are flooded with water—and watched—continuously!

The next section of photos will stir the dust up on your computer, so go ahead and get a cloth to wipe it down.  It was dusty.  But so amazing to me.

When growth starts (this is a wheat field), it is so beautiful!  I can just imagine what it must be like to drive through the miles of country with this expanse on either side!  Breath taking!100_3534

The next time you pour rice into boiling water, stop and give thanks to God for the blessing of these awesome farmers who pour themselves into each day of preparing, planting and harvesting—just so we can eat. 

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From the fields, to the grain bins, to the plant, to the grocery, to your pantry, to your stomach.  A long, most of the time, prayed over and sweated out process—and it’s the passed down, from generation to generation love of the land, the job that makes it possible.  And we thank GOD for people like Chris, Scott, Ron, and Carl, just to name a few of the farmers we’ve met.

We are a blessed people, living in a blessed nation, and we need to thank GOD above for planting US here!

© The Knightly News-Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


Have I told you about the FOOD???

First, you must know that Pam has fed us like we’ll never have another meal.

Seriously.  The woman can cook.

She did let us have a morning in her kitchen to help her with feeding a flock of preachers….and yes, she fried chicken.

Jeff made one of his specialty cakes, “butternut”. 

Each night has been filled with delicious food.  One night we went to Holcomb, Missouri and ate at “Strawberry’s”.  Don’t let the name fool you.  It is the best BBQ and Rib place I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.  Jeff had the ribs, I had the pork steak.  If you are a friend on Facebook, you saw the steak.  I won’t repeat it here…it’ll just make you hungry.

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night we ate at Hibachi Grill.  THEY HAD EVERYTHING!

Castleberry/Commander crew—YOU would LOVE this place!

Today is Sunday, and as we attend services at JFA with these wonderful friends again, it will be seasoned with a bit of sadness—knowing that it might be a long time before we get to see them again.  Matt, you are an incredible man of God—and we’ve been so blessed by your awesome preaching and ministry.  Your family is beautiful!  We are blessed to know you all!

I am so thankful that God’s family is so far extended…all around the world.

 

I will work on the “farming day” and get it posted! 

Have a blessed Sunday!

© The Knightly News-Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


Traveling on Wednesday

We traveled to Hardy, Arkansas yesterday!  AND to Mammoth Springs, Arkansas—and even slid right into Missouri! (They did that just so I could say, “I’ve been there!”)

What an experience!

Leaving Missouri and headed back up into the hills of Arkansas was filled with amazing views of an expanse of rolling hills, rock mountains, bare-branched trees and land dotted with a few cows all along the way.  Springs and creeks seemed to run everywhere, but I’m sure they aren’t, it just seemed that way to me.  I really felt like a kid in a candy store, I just couldn’t take it all in.100_3427

Traveling the gravel roads for miles and miles brought us to “Norman’s house”.  If you’ve not read that post, I encourage you to do so if you have a minute.

After checking the rain damage at the hunting house, mopping up a room of water, with Pam in disgust at the state of things—and a determination to change it asap, we headed home.  Going a different way in order to see MORE.

We stopped in Hardy to explore the shops.  It was sad to see that the economy had shut down so many.  BUT with those remaining we shopped and reminisced of the “old days”—and I say this with a grin, because Jeff and I remember the days of no phones in the home, “out-houses”, milking cows—making  your own butter, living off the land and being very careful with every penny.  Nothing wasted.  These were the days of our grandparents, but we came along just as some of the changes (as in out houses) were taking place.

I want to share with you some neat things we saw along the way:

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Enjoy the gardens.  This was next to a store that makes stringed instruments. Chris called it the “pickin’ and grinnin’ place”.

 

 

Jeff helped with names of some of the farm tools, but the kitchen stuff, I knew what they were.  How many do you recognize?  I love Hoosiers.  My grandmother had a really nice one (which I wish I had!).

There were many things that I remembered from my grandparents’ homes.  What memories flooded back!

Then the trip to Norman’s and I saw that there are those who still live in the days “gone by”.

 

 

I’ve many more pictures, but for today—this is probably enough.

Most of the other pictures are landscapes…which are my favorite. 

I hope you have a blessed day—and stop and tell God thank you for the computer you have in your lap! Or on your desk!  Or the one  you hold in  your hand!

  We’ve come a LONG way!

© The Knightly News-Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


Ta Molly’s!

Jeff and I really enjoy Mexican food!  So much that on every trip—anywhere, if we spy out a Mexican restaurant, we will generally eat there before the trip is over.  (That and Whataburger)

100_3372Last night, dear friends from the MAPS trip to Florida joined us at Ta Molly’s Mexican Restaurant—and what an incredible meal it was!

OH MY STARS!  It was awesome!

Thank YOU God for aligning our steps in such a way that our paths crossed with these dear sweet friends! 

THANK YOU to Pam and Chris for allowing us to invade your home and making us feel so incredibly welcome!  Our hearts and lives will never be the same….

Special thanks to Carl and Glenda Neal for last night’s supper!  Jeff and I will have to REALLY go on a major diet when we get back! Yikes!

Monday’s weather was absolutely beautiful!  It was as if He hand picked the sky just for us….He did.  Well, for you too! 

Today the sky is a bit overcast, but it is still beautiful.  There is a hint of an oncoming rain.  I feel it in the air, and I feel it in the heart.100_3356

We have traveled out to Chris’s farm and you will not believe your eyes at the size of the tractors!  I am a country girl and love all things country—can I just say I am in “hog heaven”…except I haven’t seen the first hog!  Rice fields, wheat fields, soy bean fields and cattle dot this magnificent land.

When I called our oldest daughter and shared with her about all that we had seen and the church service on Sunday night, she could TELL that mama was in love!  Her words to me, “don’t like it too much, you can’t move there!”

Funny how bossy kids get when they have kids of their own…Have you ever experienced that with yours?

100_3360With the help of Chris, I will tell you the names and purposes (for those of us who don’t know) of all the equipment.  I know, you may not be interested in this…but I was.

When I took this picture, I am standing below it….way below.

You get my drift when I say BIG?

 

 

Okay, stuff to do today!

Gotta run!

“I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does  my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD,

The Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

 

Pictures taken at the “Flanigan Farm” and Ta Molly’s Restaurant. 

© The Knightly News-Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


Lessons of Faith

100_3351 Have you ever felt like you were alone in the big pond of life?

I will admit—there have been many times, even sitting in a room full of people, I’ve felt that “aloneness” that seems to creep up behind me—from out of nowhere.

You look around and seems as if everyone has “someone”.  There are those around you that seem to have found their niche` in life. 

That perfect job landed at their feet with very little effort from them.  The seem to belong to all the right clubs, organizations—and even seem to have the “perfect” friends.

You want to yell—“what’s up with that?”

There was a time, many years ago—I think it was as my girls were becoming more social and needed me less—I too felt that “aloneness”.  But it was also in that time I began to seek God for “more” of Him.

The journey we walked—and I say “we” because His Word assures us that we are never alone, was hard.  I won’t even try to pretend that it wasn’t.  Those years were some of the hardest in my life….but they were also the years I found God to be more real in my every day activities than I ever experienced before.

Why do you think that was?

I will tell you my opinion, then you share yours.

I believe it was in that time of desperation and need of Him—that I sought Him the deepest—and with the most sincerity than I ever had before.  Not that I didn’t seek Him—but I sought with purpose.  I was NOT content to continue in life as I saw everyone else. Satisfied with the norm.

My name is not “norm” and I didn’t want to live like the norm.  I wanted (and want) MORE of God active and working in my life than ever.  But I learned to work “in me and through me” He had to work ON me. Ouch.

100_3341I learned that before we learn to fly—we will experience ups and downs of life just as everyone else—but I also know first hand –that we will  experience such tremendous power in His Spirit that we will feel like we could actually “walk on water”!  That happens as we FULLY and TOTALLY give Him access to every part of our lives.

Before long, as we are growing in Christ, we begin to experience a time of “pruning”.  Ouch again.  But if you will notice the trees that are blooming the prettiest—and fullest, experienced a pruning.  A cutting back—cutting away. 

Jesus said this:  “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”  John 15:1-2 NLT

Go ahead.  Go before Him and ask Him to prune away. 

Prune away all the hindrances, the things that bind us and keep us from growing.  Ask Him to remove the distractions.  There may be things that are not necessarily wrong, but they are a distraction from what HE may be calling YOU into. 

Painful? Yes. 

Beneficial?  To quote my Grandbuddy, “You betcha”.

100_3349Before long, you will find that you are ready to soar….to parts unknown.  Wow! The experience of that—will be amazing.  (He’s pruning on me.  Is He you?)

 

 

 

Pictures taken at the “Flanigan Farm”. 

Thank you to our dear friends, Chris and Pam for a tour. 

© The Knightly News-Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


Blogging Travels

With the house looked after…..

And Scooter looked after….

There’s just ONE thing left to do!

LEAVE!!!

We are packed up (as of almost midnight last night!) and ready and raring to GO!

To keep up with us, stay tuned!  (Someone told me that “he” was even going to write a blog or two! How exciting is THAT!)

We love you!  Oh….You might see us in a town near YOU! 😉

© The Knightly News 2007-2011


Winning Him Without Words

10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage

Week after week, they sit in church . . . alone. They are the spiritually mismatched, those who are committed to a spouse who does not share their faith. Feeling abandoned by their spouse and forgotten by their church, they live out their faith in survival mode, guarding the spiritual flame yet never feeling free to share it. But God wants them to thrive—not just survive.

Winning Him Without Words by Lynn Donovan and Dineen Miller presents 10 Christ-centered keys to thriving in a spiritual mismatch. Readers are encouraged to commit to Christian community, to release their spouse to God’s capable hands, to believe their marriage is blessed, to pick and choose their battles, and to continue their pursuit of a growing faith and to love their spouse with fresh enthusiasm.

“It matters not how we came to be in our crazy, mixed-up and unexpected marriage situations. What matters is that God desires that we honor our marriage commitment and fulfill our marriage vows through His power and His strength,” says Miller. “There were many years of confusion, sadness and unfulfilled expectations, but I discovered it’s possible to love, live and thrive in an unequally yoked marriage.”

Both Lynn and Dineen are Christian women in spiritually unequally yoked marriages, but believe that God wants every marriage to exude peace and love. Chapters include:

Know You’re Not Alone: (Lynn) Recognizing that we aren’t the only person living in an unequally yoked marriage is a key aspect to restoring hope. Having Christ in our lives enables us to view our husbands as the wonderful man God created, regardless of your different beliefs.
Don’t Save Your Husband – Save Yourself: (Lynn) The best thing I ever did was to get out of the way so that Jesus could be Jesus. I relinquished control and turned my man completely over to Christ and an unexpected, peaceful freedom emerged in our marriage.
Trade Perfection for Authenticity: (Dineen) I came to understand that many of my disappointments had come from expectations I’d placed upon him to fulfill needs he wasn’t even aware of. In the end, all I really accomplished was a heart full of resentment.
Keep Your Armor On-You’re at War! (Dineen) Instead of putting on the label of martyr in a spiritually mismatched marriage, we need to put on the label of missionaries. We need to think of ourselves as soldiers on the front lines of our marriages.

Other chapters include parenting children in an unequally yoked marriage, praying into the life of your spouse and scriptures to encourage and strengthen you. Winning Him Without Words empowers readers to create that environment in their homes and thrive as God works. The official website is http://www.winninghimwithoutwords.com

About Winning Him Without Words:
Winning Him Without Words: 10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage by Lynn Donovan and Dineen Miller. Published by Regal Books. February 2011. Trade Paper, 224 pages. $14.99. ISBN: 978-08307-5605

LYNN DONOVAN writes for the online ministry she founded in 2006, Spiritually Unequal Marriage. Lynn is a popular Bible study leader and national speaker who dispels the myths women believe about love and marriage and points them to the freedom that is theirs through a living relationship with Christ. She lives in Temecula, California, with her husband, Mike.

DINEEN MILLER has won several prestigious awards for her fiction, and her devotional writing has been featured in Our Journey and Christian Women Online Magazine. In addition to writing for Spiritually Unequal Marriage, Dineen writes for Laced with Grace and various other fiction online magazines and newsletters. Married for more than 23 years, she shares her life with a great guy who adores disc golf and their two daughters, who never stops surprising her with their own creativity.