Category Archives: Conference

Home Sweet Home

Seeing new sights is great—meeting new people, fellow travelers on this journey toward home is wonderful, but friend, nothing compares (at least until we get to heaven) to walking in the door to your own house and kicking off your shoes and getting comfortable.

I prepared the house before we left for what I wanted to feel and see when I walked back in.  I cleaned it.  From top to bottom.  So that when we walked in, there was nothing to do but unload and unpack.  Jeff unloaded, I unpacked.  Then there was the trip laundry that needed to be done.  With more than 16 hours total on the way home (we had to detour to get the “baby”)—going as far as we could—then getting a fresh start yesterday morning.100_1918  I was glad I made the extra effort for clean sheets on the bed—not that it would have mattered at our point of exhaustion, but it sure felt good.

Scooter was as glad to see us as we were to see him.  And he felt the same way about home.  He explored the rooms, smelling, making sure nothing had changed—and then checked out his toy box, making sure nothing was missing—running—jumping, excited!

As I began my devotion this morning, sitting in my favorite spot felt like I sat down with an old friend.  I began my dialogue with Jesus.  Telling Him how thankful I was for the opportunity to be with precious friends.  Then the sights I saw—and the great conference we attended—added bonus gift from heaven, the snow.  My heart spilled forth my desire to follow His plan—not my own. 

I realized what I had prepared in advance of our return, was the benefit of what I experienced when I got home.  I’m not sure I said that clearly. (I leave you to figure out the message in that…no sense in me doing all the work.) 

What I mean is—all the effort I put into getting the house ready for our return—is what I enjoyed—and what brought me great pleasure when I walked in the door.  Clean.  Nothing to do but take care of what we brought in the house.

When you put all your effort into God’s plans-and-purpose here—no agenda of your own, just simply taking every opportunity to be a blessing and minister to others, you are preparing  your spiritual home.  Each day as we “give everything to God”, He takes us through the ropes of house cleaning.  Removing the clutter. 

100_3387Do you have some clutter?

I know I still do.  I’m opening every door for Him to see—and yet He reveals more. (By the way, He has x-ray vision—can see through doors and tall buildings are nothing to Him) 

He shows me what I tucked back and why.  He shines the light in every place—I thought had been long dealt with—yet there was something, some hurt or pain that I allowed to remain.  As long as it remains, there can’t be full healing as there needs to be.  Sometimes it’s painful.  But as necessary as dealing with an abscessed tooth.  If left untreated, it will cause a great deal of damage.

Let’s do some “spring” cleaning.  Heart and home.  Allow Christ access to all the old junk you are holding on to.  I can tell you from experience, it will do nothing but weigh you down, so much so—it may just keep you down when He calls for us to go UP!

Now, without further ado, via random number generator, the winner of the book, “Winning Him Without Words” by my friends, Lynn Donovan and Dineen Miller is: Ang of the blog, “Angela’s Words of …” (please contact me with your mailing address).  I invite you to go over and congratulate her—and read her latest post—I just did—and it is amazing.

I ALSO encourage you that if you know someone who is struggling in a marriage of spiritual mismatch—get them a copy of this book—THEY will be blessed—but so will you.  (Sow a seed of kindness into the life of another.)

Thank You Jesus—for the sweetest gifts of life.  Friends and family.100_3386 

Thank You Lord that You care so much about us, that no detail is ever overlooked.  Thank You Lord for the family we have been blessed with from JFA.  Thank You Lord for hearing our prayers and bringing us closer to You.




100_3511Matt—you need to start a blog.  But I know with all the other things you do—church, family—pastoring—music—etc. WHERE in the world would you ever find the time! 🙂 

We were blessed BEYOND words at your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.  Your messages came straight from the throne room of God.  It was like we were sent just at this time, just for those messages.  Jeff and I both agreed, we felt like we’d had a spiritual bath and that God was pouring things into us that was necessary for our next steps.  Amazing services.  You have a GREAT church-filled with friendly and precious people—and Jeff and I laughed as we tried to figure out a way to bring it closer.

Thank you to our regular readers.  For hanging in there when the dust of the fields came flying…and for reading all the way down to the bottom of this lengthy post!  (Let me know if you fell asleep.)  Jeff didn’t get his blog post together—he apologized, but said their were other things to see and do.  I could do the writing for this week.  He’ll write later.

As a side note, what do you like best about blog writing?  Devotionals or life?  Or a combo of both.  Do you blog?  Journal?  Or just think a bunch of random thoughts….that’s where this blog started.  YEARS of random thoughts in the head…all spilled forth into blog form in 2007.


I hope you all have a super blessed weekend! 🙂  (We’ll see what God has next……)


Do you see the heart?





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Copyright The Knightly News—Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


“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.


“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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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.


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!







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