Tag Archives: prayer

Thankful Thursday

It’s been a minute.

Last week, on the phone with someone from a family we were currently serving at the funeral home, the caller asked to speak with a co-worker who was also on the phone. I asked the caller if she could call them back in a few minutes. The caller said, “is it a minute that’s just a minute, or is a minute that like hours long.” That took me by surprise. No one had ever asked how long a minute was….it was 60 seconds last time I checked. I don’t think the span of one complete minute has changed since I went to school, but then I remembered; the term “it’s been a minute” could mean anywhere from one minute to several months, possibly years I suppose, for this generation.

I get confused at times at the changes in terminology. It’s been actually a few years since I wrote a Thankful Thursday online. Back in 2007, Thankful Thursday’s were a regular occurrence with several other devotional writers. It caused me to pause every single Thursday and give thanks out-loud to the World Wide Web. Yesterday–I was reminded…it’s time. It’s been over a minute.

There are so many things I have to be thankful for, I will hit just a few this morning:

The presence of and my relationship with God.

I’m thankful for Friday: A specific Friday, and what took place on the “Friday”: The complete and total sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ, as He surrendered His life to the cross for our sins, and was resurrected on the third day–and now is at the right hand of God the Father, always attentive to our lives and the needs in our lives.

I’m thankful for the ability to pray and attend church services freely without fear of death or persecution.

I’m thankful for my sweet family–every-single-one. We have been blessed to have mother and grandbuddy move closer to my sister, Aimee and I–and with things in this world as they are and health issues, I’ve never been more grateful that to have the ability to just drive about three miles to check on them.

I’m thankful for our home. We’ve been in our home since February and I still walk around sometimes in amazement that God would bless us with the desires of our heart so deliberately. I mean–you would have to know how many times my sister and I walked by this house built in the early 70’s and almost jokingly claimed it for us as a retirement home because of it’s perfect location. It was no joke to God. He knew exactly what we would need and when we would need it.

I’m thankful for health. We have faced new health issues the past few years and they have made me appreciate the good health we have had for so long. Heart issues are scary anyway–but when it’s the love of your life having them…we celebrate the fact that God hears and heals. Sometimes He does it outright–sometimes He uses medicine, procedures and physicians. We are thankful for all of it! And I’m thankful to have my sweet husband a little less stressed ūüôā

I’m thankful for our daughters, their husbands, and all the wonderful grandchildren! From 20 years old to two years old–we have the blessings that only can come from the grace and mercy of Almighty God! Are they perfect? Are you kidding? But they are ours and we love them and pray for them all constantly.

I’m thankful for our church family. I have learned so much in my life sitting under various pastors, and I’m thankful that every single one of them have had a heart for missions;–the community, the city, the nation and the world. And our church reaches both near and far. It’s sad to watch churches dwindle down to nothing and have to close it’s doors. I wonder sometimes if it is their short arms…. not reaching beyond their doors, not looking at the whole picture–the whole world.

I’m thankful for my job. I found it very odd that when we returned from Bolivia (early), as I was struggling with severe depression–(a few times I felt to the point of just wanting God to take me home), that God would sit me down to work and serve in a funeral home. How ironic. But He as the healing and restoration has come, God has allowed me to love on and serve hurting families. Healed through serving. I don’t think it happens like that much of the time. But for me, He chose this way.

I’m thankful for my next door neighbors. ūüėČ This was actually the sweetest prayer answered, to me, since my baby sister lives next door! We both realize that nothing in our lives is guaranteed to stay the way it is, especially for those serving in ministry. I’m not so tied to this home, nor she hers, should God see fit to call either of us to a place beyond the limits of our sweet city. We must all remain flexible and pliable in God’s hands. Otherwise, the twisting and molding, chiseling and carving that must be done on us can get so painful (hand raised in acknowledgement). The process of change still hurts, but when we surrender to His hands–and are still before Him, it’s much easier than if we balk and demand our own way. Our way is not the best way–only God’s way is.

I just realized I’ve written more than the normal “thankful Thursday” used to be. We kind of kept it at a shorter limit…because you know, people get tired of reading… But my heart and life is full of things to be thankful for! I bet yours is too. Feel free to leave a comment with YOUR thankful’s for this Thursday!

A beautiful park not far from San Jose, Costa Rica! One of our favorite places to live!

Sons & Daughters, April 15, 2021

To the sons I never gave birth to:

I have been amazingly blessed with two precious and incredible daughters.  I have also been given the opportunity to sow into the lives of many girls over the last 35-40 years.  I‚Äôm almost 60.  I‚Äôve accumulated MANY blessings in the form of some other mother‚Äôs daughter and now, some sons.   

First, God blessed me with two kind hearted and loving sons-in-law.  This isn‚Äôt about them, nor necessarily for them, although, if they are as smart as I think they are, they will pull some nuggets and put them in action.  

What got me thinking in this line of thought are the five most recent young fellows God has blessed my life with in the past three years.¬†¬†I won‚Äôt tag them, nor state their names, they know who they are.¬†¬†And they know they are precious.¬†¬†Fellas, Mama Angie is about to give you some ‚Äúmama advice‚ÄĚ.¬†¬†You all have your own mama‚ÄĒI‚Äôm not that.¬†¬†But I believe in sowing seeds of faith and love wherever God plants you‚ÄĒand I‚Äôve been planted here‚ÄĒand you are there as well, so get settled to listen a few minutes.

You are either just married, about to be married this month, or will next year.  I‚Äôve seen the rings.  ‚ÄúY‚Äôall did good!‚ÄĚ  I pray the coming years are even better!

So, let‚Äôs talk.¬†¬†Or, let me.¬†¬†(If you know me well, you know I will be honest and upfront if asked my opinion‚ÄĒbut today I‚Äôm giving my unsolicited opinion.)

These are in no particular order of importance except this first one:

  1. Pray for her.¬†¬†Not just in your own prayer time, but hold her hand or hold her close and pray OVER her.¬†¬†When I worked in Dothan, Jeff began doing this in the last couple of years that I traveled back and forth, and let me tell you‚ÄĒwhat a difference it made in my day!¬†¬†As well as how¬†loved I felt‚ÄĒwords can‚Äôt express the depth of that feeling-emotion.¬†¬†Just try it and see what happens.¬†¬†You will have a happy wife on your hands‚ÄĒand God will bless YOUR OWN life.¬†¬†You are her prayer covering.¬†¬†You are the priest of the home.¬†¬†You don‚Äôt have to use fancy words.¬†¬†It doesn‚Äôt even have to be long.¬†¬†If you feel too shy‚ÄĒdo it anyway.¬†¬†Guys‚ÄĒif you cannot pray over her‚ÄĒstop and rethink this.¬†¬†This is a must for a blessed and whole marriage.¬†¬†Oh, you will still have a marriage, it just won‚Äôt be as blessed and amazing.¬†¬†(Girls, this is for you too.)
  2. Find out her love language.¬†¬†If you‚Äôve never read the book, ‚ÄúThe Five Love Languages, by Gary Smalley‚ÄĚ, I encourage you to read that.¬†¬†At least enough to get the gist of it.¬†¬†Her love language is what makes her ‚Äúfeel‚ÄĚ loved.¬†¬†Guys we may ‚ÄúKNOW‚ÄĚ we are loved, but we like to ‚Äúfeel‚ÄĚ loved.¬†¬†That happens with the love tank being filled.¬†¬†Daily.¬†¬†I confess, I didn‚Äôt read the whole book and what I did read was many years ago, but it stuck.¬†¬†Find out what her love language is.¬†¬†It‚Äôs a short little quiz you can take online without even buying the book and it will open up your world!¬†¬†Everyone is different.¬†¬†My love language is three top contenders:¬†¬†physical touch, quality time and words of affirmation.¬†¬†Physical touch doesn‚Äôt¬†just¬†mean the bedroom (yes, I said that‚ÄĒyou are either married or about to be‚ÄĒfigure it out).¬†¬†Physical touch is holding her hand when you walk sometimes.¬†¬†It‚Äôs your arm around her when you sit close, or rubbing her shoulders‚ÄĒor feet! (If she loves that.)¬†¬†If you are doing this with sexpectations, you are doing it for the wrong reasons.¬†¬†And yes, I said that too.¬†¬†¬†And guys, as you get older, you have to be more intentional.¬†¬†Life happens and we all get busy‚ÄĒjust don‚Äôt get too busy to be there for each other‚ÄĒin the small ways as well as the big ways.¬†¬†If the church service is the¬†only time¬†you are close‚ÄĒgo back to number 1.¬†¬†Pray.¬†¬†Ask God to remind you of the love you once had.¬†¬†When you find out what her love language is, not putting it into action is like saying, ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt care or it‚Äôs not that important to me‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒif that‚Äôs the case, you are in a mess.¬†¬†Only God can help you.¬†¬†(Girls, SAME SAME SAME)
  3. Help each other.¬†¬†If she needs help with a big job in the house, i.e., moving furniture,¬†help with patience.¬†¬†If you need help with an outside project, ask for her help.¬†¬†Chances are she will love that opportunity to spend some extra time with you (but don‚Äôt get angry if she’s neck deep in the middle of something and can’t instantly to run help you).¬†¬†If that‚Äôs YOUR love language, make sure she knows that.¬†¬†She won‚Äôt know until you tell her.¬†¬†I personally love helping Jeff.¬†¬†We work pretty well together on projects‚ÄĒhe knows my physical limitations‚ÄĒand while there was that one-time helping sheetrock I cried, it hasn‚Äôt been often‚ÄĒit‚Äôs a true joy to work side-by-side. (We grew that day.). Going through struggles is going to happen.¬†¬†Go together.¬†¬†Don‚Äôt struggle alone.¬†¬†The devil gets in when you try to go through things alone and he plants crappola in your mind and her mind all day long‚ÄĒwe each have the ability to help one another and make it stop.¬†¬†
  4. Be a good forgiver.¬†¬†My mother had Jeff and I sit down and read 1 Corinthians 13 together the day we married.¬†¬†We have both had to put it into practice many times in the last almost 39 years.¬†¬†And we have both fumbled at it at times‚ÄĒbut we keep at it.¬†¬†This translation and I like the way it reads, 1-8:¬†¬†

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn‚Äôt love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God‚Äôs secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn‚Äôt love others, I would be nothing.  If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn‚Äôt love others, I would have gained nothing.

 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 

  1. Don’t spend more than an agreed upon amount without discussing it.  That means, don’t go out and buy a boat without sitting down and seeing what’s coming up, where you are financially and can you afford this…. And girls, same goes for you.  When I find something I think I just have to have, I will send Jeff a message or call if it happens to be over the agreed amount.  This is just good common sense.  
  2. Keep a little cash stash for emergencies, i.e., a special date night to a really nice place rather than just same-old-same-old.¬†¬†Plan ahead for vacations by saving and sticking it back.¬†¬†Makes vacation more enjoyable when you know it‚Äôs already funded.¬†¬†There were many years we never took one‚ÄĒit wasn‚Äôt in the budget.¬†¬†I didn‚Äôt pout‚ÄĒwe did something else together.¬†¬†(Even if I pouted initially, I got over it really quick.). Goes without saying, girls SAME.
  3. DO NOT YELL.  Ever.  If you feel the blood boiling, go wash the car or truck, cut grass, chop wood, or something constructive.  Calm down.  Talk about it before the week is out.  Sometimes it takes a few days.  Just don’t let it fester and become infected.  Get it out and get rid of it.  The devil loves it when we hang on to hurt.  We have all been guilty of that.  Girls SAME.  If you yell, I will be very disappointed.
  4. Give her the attention she needs.¬†¬†Girls, same.¬†¬†Give him the attention he needs.¬†¬†It‚Äôs biblical.¬†¬†Don‚Äôt make either one a beggar.¬†¬†Not only is that wrong biblically, it also lets them know‚ÄĒyour needs don‚Äôt really matter to me.¬†¬†If there‚Äôs too much going on in your life and your mind can‚Äôt stop‚ÄĒwork on that.¬†¬†Spontaneity is great‚ÄĒbut planning is better.¬†¬†Planning shows you really care about the other person‚Äôs needs.¬†¬†I remember one time I was working two jobs and one was at the law office all day and the part-time one was at the mall in a small dress shop.¬†¬†Jeff knew I was exhausted.¬†¬†I was helping out a friend who was on maternity leave.¬†¬†I always called him to let him know I was leaving Dothan.¬†¬†He timed it just right and had me a hot bubble bath ready when I got home.¬†¬†Yes, I cried.¬†¬†Guys, pay attention to what she needs.¬†¬†There may be times she can‚Äôt put it into words‚Ķlearn to read her heart.
  5. When children come along‚ÄĒremember the little lady was here first.¬†¬†Love her big.¬†¬†Girls, SAME THING.¬†¬†If you have to ‚Äúmake a date night‚ÄĚ, do it.¬†¬†There is a grandma who would LOVE to watch that little baby for a few hours while you have a special date.¬†¬†¬†If you live away from parents and grandparents, find a responsible young lady or couple at church and ask them‚ÄĒwhether you can even leave the house for a date or not, make it special.¬†¬†Intentionality speaks VOLUMES.¬†¬†Those little babies do go to sleep sometimes‚Ķ.don‚Äôt worry about the house‚ÄĒit will be there.¬†¬†Give one another some real listening time.¬†¬†If she needs to talk‚ÄĒlisten.¬†¬†What she really might need is for YOU to talk.¬†¬†Girls, SAME.¬†¬†(Listening to Jeff is in my top five favorite things.¬†¬†He doesn‚Äôt talk a lot‚ÄĒso when he does, I pay attention.)
  6. Be a saver more than a spender.  This also speaks volumes.  It means you are looking to the future and not just living for the present.  
  7. If a particular task makes her just nuts, help her with it.  (Tax time is a good time.). Girls, SAME.  
  8. TELL her each day something you like or love about her.¬†¬†Whether it‚Äôs her hairdo, her eyes, her outfit, her nail polish or the way she loves you‚Ķmake it personal.¬†¬†Not about what she cooked the day before.¬†¬†She needs this.¬†¬†I heard an older preacher say once, ‚Äúson, if you don‚Äôt tell her, someone at that office will‚ÄĚ.¬†¬†BIG side note: Girls, SAME.¬†¬†Tell HIM what thrills you about him.¬†¬†I love telling Jeff this‚ÄĒbecause number 1, it‚Äôs true.¬†¬†He‚Äôs the most amazing and handsome man I‚Äôve ever laid eyes on, and 2, he‚Äôs mine.¬†¬†I want to take good care of him.¬†¬†Because he‚Äôs mine.¬†¬†
  9. KISS.¬†¬†KISS.¬†¬†KISS.¬†¬†I laughed when I typed that because that‚Äôs something we ALL need.¬†¬†¬†If she‚Äôs a kisser ‚ÄďKISS HER.¬†¬†Girls, SAME.
  10. Don’t go to bed angry.  I’ve done this.  I’m sure in the almost 39 years we’ve been married Jeff has too.  BUT if you do, pray until you aren’t angry any more.  Praying for her will remove the anger and help you love her through whatever made you angry.
  11. Send her sweet texts in the day, write her sweet notes (I love a handwritten note).¬†¬†Generally, Jeff and I do cards rather than gifts at birthdays/anniversaries/valentines etc.¬†¬†Sometimes there‚Äôs a gift‚ÄĒbut there is almost always a card.¬†¬†Make it one that says your feelings if you have a problem writing yours out.¬†¬†I‚Äôm a writer‚ÄĒso I have no problem with writing.¬†¬†If you are NOT a writer, do it sometimes anyway.¬†¬†I treasure each one Jeff has written.
  12. Go the extra mile.¬†¬†Sometimes it may seem you are the only one going the extra mile‚ÄĒ(girls don‚Äôt let that happen). Don‚Äôt carry resentment with you.¬†¬†Go with love for her.
  13. Holidays are generally times we have to do more than we physically feel like doing‚ÄĒdon‚Äôt fuss about going to her family‚Äôs house for a meal.¬†¬†Girls, SAME.¬†
  14. If you get mad with her about something….for Pete’s sake, DON’T go tell your mama.  Don’t tell anyone but God.  Unless you need a counselor.  GIRLS, SAME SAME SAME.
  15. If she handles all the household chores, tell her THANK YOU.¬†¬†If you share in those chores, great.¬†¬†That doesn‚Äôt always happen.¬†¬†Side-note to girls:¬†¬†if he takes care of the maintenance on your vehicle ‚Äďtell him THANK YOU!¬†¬†¬†¬†Find lots of things to thank the other one for.¬†¬†A thankful heart is a happy heart.¬†¬†And lastly,
  16. Go back to number one.  Pray for each other.  Prayer is the glue that will keep your marriage together in the hardest of times.

I‚Äôve written a ton.¬†¬†More than I planned‚ÄĒbut it just kept coming out‚Ķ so maybe you needed reminding of what she needs.¬†¬†It‚Äôs not all about you.¬†¬†Girls, SAME.¬†¬†


Proving His Faithfulness

We are here. The Lord has been full of mercy- and has been gracious to my weary heart when I felt I would faint from all the newness surrounding me.

Overwhelmed. That has pretty much summed up my feelings the last several days. I’m surprised He hasn’t obliged my behind with a swift kick. But again… He’s full of mercy and it’s new every morning.

We went apartment looking yesterday and today – yesterday one out of three was a keeper – except for that little thing called a budget.

To find something in a safe area And affordable I was beginning up thinking was nigh impossible. But God looked down and set us up.

“When things look impossible will you still trust Me? “

I trusted Him without a second thought during my cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy and radiation…. What was the problem trusting and believing Him to find us an apartment? I was bone weary and emotionally spent. Every single ounce of my flesh screamed “stop and take a breath!”

We had several – what I will call “prayer crisis”. When we got to the Miami Airport to leave, we discovered that my tourist visa had expired. And to get one at the airport requires certain documents. Well, you would have thought we knew that it expired – but since Jeff’s was a 10 year tourist visa we never thought to check mine… We assumed. Yeah yeah. I know.

So there was a huge emotional deal going down in my head when we got to the airport checking in our bags. I asked a few prayer warriors to pray. Well…. They let me on the plane.

Of course you must know it was not a peaceful flight like I had “planned”. Instead my heart was filled with anxious thoughts. When we finally got here and deboarded the plane it was another ordeal and phone calls and anguish and tears – finally I was spent…. I was ready to go home and say “forgetaboutit“. I sat there in tears (while Jeff was – I’m not sure where, trying to get me in) and told the Lord “I’m done”. I said it twice for good measure. I was, as they say–being real with God.

That very instant when I admitted to having NO abilities on my own, and our merits could get us nothing, the guy walked over who had told me my papers were no good and not enough–and he asked for them again and he made it happen. More than an hour after we landed, we walked out into the freedom of a tourist.

There’s a LOT of spiritual lessons here once I unpack it all, but know this, God proves Himself daily. Every single minute of every day.

We are grateful to a lot of people-both here and at home. Our prayer partners are relentless. And so is our God.

My friend, Paola wanted to get Jeff to try something – her words were “have you proved this”?? He had not tried it… That’s us. Try HIM. Prove Him. He is trustworthy. It may not look like we thought…. I may not understand the whole process but His ways are eventually visible.

One last note – we don’t have wifi yet, but we have phones. If you see our family – love them for us. Hug them. This is the Hardest thing for me because I love my family more than anything.

I’m reading a book called “A Tale of 3 Kings”, by Gene Edwards. I want to leave you with a quote:

“… God did not have -but wanted very much to have – men and women who would live in pain. God wanted a broken vessel.”

I think that can often sum up the life of followers of God. To die to the desires of our own hearts and take up His. We are no different than you. Just a different assignment today.

(special thanks to Stevie Elam for this amazing gift!)


You Have to Believe it to See it

You’ve heard people say,– I’ll believe it when I see it? Try believing before you see. Try seeing it in your spirit. And then watch Him unfold the journey.

When in Costa Rica, I almost forgot that a blue this color existed. But the skies are that blue at home. #nofilter. And at night, the stars shine bright. It’s especially beautiful on a cold night. Head thrown back, thanking my Father for such wonderful gifts like this!

Every night while home, when I took my Gracie Mae out, I would look up at the night sky and draw in a deep breath of cold air and proclaim aloud my gratitude for the heavenly display of night-lights. I love it. If you have never had a length of time when you couldn’t see the stars– or a cloudless blue sky this spectacular– like only Northwest Florida (at my moms house) can produce, then maybe you don’t quite understand my immense joy. Even though I couldn’t SEE the stars in Costa Rica, I knew. I believed. They were still hanging around up there. Waiting to be seen!

I love coming home. Although we didn’t stay at mother’s this visit– (the things we both had to do were concentrated in Marianna), I still enjoyed my few short visits back home. It’s was really odd- the LORD really helped me deal with the emotions of each place I called home. The people– that’s another thing. It hurt to leave them again.

Our daughters and their boys are the delight and light of our hearts– but we have an urgent compelling to follow what God has laid on our hearts. It’s a compelling that we just can’t turn off.

The other night I heard something- it was actually in the wee hours of the morning– I lay there very still and the Holy Spirit whispered again. I got up to go to the bathroom with intentions of writing it down (typing it on my notepad) when I got back to bed. But just that fast– that word was gone. Stolen from my mind with all the busy things that kept rolling through night after night while we’ve been home.

As I lay in the bed, very still and quite, I asked the LORD, “please give it to me one more time.”

He did.

“You cannot unhear a call from God.”

Just like you can’t unsee something you wished you hadn’t seen- or unsay something you said and instantly regretted, you cannot unhear once the voice of God has called your name.

Oh how I love Him. I am so thankful that when He looked for someone to “go”, we both said “yes”. How in the world did it all happen?? Only by God’s grace and HIS divine guidance. All the pieces of this journey will hopefully one day find its way to a book– that’s what my friend Betty and I had hoped to get to work on– but it didn’t happen– too many things going on. We’ve planned it and talked it for several years now though. And God has kept piling on the Words and the journey is sweeter with every passing day.

A lot of things look different than what I first supposed. But I have followed Him long enough and lived for Him long enough to know that He is very purposed about every detail of our lives and this journey.

After being in language school with over 30 other students– from other districts, we do know that our district is the best. (Grinning– because our district is family) The West Florida District Presbytery Board gathered around us this afternoon before we left and prayed for us– and we have such admiration for what they each do. They are amazing. And one of them is our oldest daughters Pastor. And I had the opportunity to thank him for all the prayers he has prayed over our girl and her boys. God has been faithful!!

If you’re dreaming a BIG GOD SIZED dream– keep believing. If it won’t turn off in your heart and mind no matter what- keep praying. If every sermon you hear, every song and every Word keeps you coming back to circle your dream again– trust that In HIS timing, it will all line up.

No, it may not look like you imagined. You may be older, gray haired, a little weaker in body, but stronger in spirit, … believe to SEE the impossible. Believe to LIVE the improbable. And believe to be used by the Master Himself when the time is right. That’s what we are here for. Bring HIM glory, through telling His story which is our story and HIS story in us. That may have sounded like a jumble of confusion there– but it’s late. Jeff’s driving and I’m blogging on my phone.

When you look up at the blue sky– think of us. Pray for me that I will keep my eyes open to what HE wants to show me next. And when you look up at the night sky and see stars, count yourself blessed. There were many nights I teared up wanting to see them. I’ve never been on a mission trip to Bolivia and saw the stars. I only saw about 5 stars (and only saw the moon about 5 times!) while in Costa Rica. It saddened my heart a great deal because I love looking at the sky.

Well. It’s late. For us anyway. We may stop and sleep soon and get an early start in the morning. We love y’all. Every single one. Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep giving Him Praise and Glory!

Believing…. and seeing. They go hand in hand.

Believing BIG-

Angie

#aknightsjourney


I need to tell you something.

Whenever I hear those words, “I need to tell you something”, my gut always lurches. ¬†Always. ¬†Usually–or when we had kids at home, it was followed by a confession of something that had gotten broken during some “rough-housing”…and yes, even daughters do that. ¬†Or at least ours did.
It’s 11:33 pm and I’ve been sitting on some news since last Friday. ¬†So, a week ago we got a verbal answer to a prayer we had been praying for more than a year. ¬†Actually, if you want to get real technical and nit-picky, we’ve probably had this on the altar of prayer for about 4 years. ¬†Not sure what-when-how God would order our steps, we just knew (and know) He does.
In February of this year, we began the¬†process to become missionaries to Bolivia. ¬†Santa Cruz to be really specific. ¬†The city and country that claimed our attention and heart after our first mission trip together. ¬†We actually celebrated Jeff’s birthday that first year there in 2011. ¬†We told very few people. ¬†We were secretly fearful that they would find all sorts of things wrong with us. ¬†Our past. ¬†Our lack of experience. ¬†Our age….and when it all boiled down to it, our age did become a factor.
The first thing we did was make a prayerful decision. ¬†Months of prayer–then one morning Jeff said it: ¬†“We need to fill out the paperwork to become missionaries full time to Bolivia”. ¬†Wow. ¬†You could have knocked me over with a feather. ¬†And that day– was an AMAZING day. ¬†I wish you could have seen the sky that day–why, it was the bluest it’s ever been! ¬†And the birds–well, they sang the best and the loudest that day! ¬†Do you get the picture? ¬†It was a spectacular–surreal feeling day. ¬†Then the next day came. ¬†And then the next…
After a few weeks of paperwork.  Buckets of tears.  (Maybe not quite buckets, but I was an emotional wreck for a few weeks.)  Anyway, the process began with the big WAIT.  Weeks went by.  We traveled to Bolivia in May for our 2015 Mission Trip with an incredible Crusade Team and the Focus Forward Team.  It was amazing.  God opened a new door and two new Schools!
We were thankful and saw and felt God move in our lives.
The summer came and brought lively camps.  Jeff spent every Tuesday sharing our heart for our new mission project with Focus Forward Ministries sharing about The Genesis Project.  The BIG WAIT continued.  Still no word.
Finally a letter arrived.  Not quite what we had hoped.  Actually, it was nothing like what we had prayed for nor expected.  We felt sort of shuffled.  Aside.
Tears. ¬†Prayers. ¬†More tears. ¬†And finally, I settled it in my heart when I handed all my dreams and plans over to God. ¬†Jeff pretty much said the same thing. ¬†God had been working in each of us–and we were having the same feelings in much the same direction. ¬†We were going to wait on God no matter what He said or no matter how long it took. ¬†We knew He had a plan–and it was HIS plan–not ours that we wanted to see fulfilled in our lives.
Later in the summer we began to prepare for our ordination exam. ¬†Nerve wracking to say the least. ¬†It was like, “let’s just add a bit more stress and anxiety to the mix!”.
I remember being outside one day–I can’t remember what I was doing–but I felt a “stir”. ¬†It was one I had felt before. ¬†It was like¬†“something is coming”-– I felt a definite change in the air. ¬†Maybe that “something” was news. ¬†News. ¬†Maybe it was changes in our lives. ¬†It actually was both.
Our District Superintendent and his wife, who is also one of our oldest and dearest friends came to our house last Friday night with the “news”. ¬†He played a recorded voice mail (which I recorded for future encouragement–who knew I would need it even this week!) of our “approval” to be missionaries to Santa Cruz Bolivia! ¬†Under the supervision of a great missionary couple that we had the privilege of working with THIS YEAR! ¬†God planned all that out in advance!
This is really skimming the surface of the news….but I needed to tell you…. After all, so many of you have been praying for us… and when things looked the bleakest— God was working on our behalf.
Some have asked–how long? When will you go? ¬†Well, first things first: Raise our budget. ¬†Raise our monthly support. ¬†Two separate things, but two necessary things. ¬†We don’t know how much yet that we have to raise, but we have much to do! ¬†We were told we could begin itinerating immediately! ¬† With that, I contacted one of the pastors who had sent a young couple with us to Bolivia this year to share our news–as they had been praying with us as well–and they said immediately, “sign us up!” ¬†Well, of course they will have to do that when we get our number, but honestly, what a shot in the arm that was for me! ¬†After all the months of waiting and all the stress and anxiety, I felt the Lord nudge me and say,¬†“See Baby?” ¬†I have been taking care of this all along….I just wanted you to trust Me”.¬†¬†(If you’ve not read some of my¬†old blogs,¬†you wouldn’t know that when Jesus is being tender with me, He calls me Baby”.)
Just in case someone out there in “la-la-Blog-land” thinks that life in ministry is a cake walk–let me sit your sweet self down and assure you, nothing is further from the truth.
Life in ministry is,¬†ahem,¬†well, to be quite frank, it can be hellish at times. ¬†I mean, you aren’t exactly grooming the lawn of heaven. ¬†You are storming the gates of hell and trying to save those through your messages, preaching, teaching, blogging, loving and sharing Christ with the lost… You are pointing “souls to Calvary’ as the song says. ¬†And no one wants you to fail more than the devil himself. ¬†With every sinner set free he’s lost another battle. ¬†That infuriates him to no end.
BUT to think, that someone would be willing to step out in ministry–to pastor a church, teach a Sunday School Class, lead a choir, or travel across the ocean to minister to a people that has no clue that they can have a real relationship with a God they’ve never heard of? ¬†That’s the last straw for him. ¬†He pulls no punches. ¬†He hits hard and fast and seemingly continual on some days.
BUT, I also want to tell you that life in ministry is unlike any other. ¬†The blessings of seeing one that you’ve been praying for come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, well, no words can describe that. ¬†Or seeing that complete stranger seek God…or those little kids clutch their Bible as if it’s Life itself… and it is. ¬†To hold the hand of a friend as she leaves this life, knowing her next step and next breath will be made in the presence of her King…oh, friend. ¬†There is pain mingled with the joy–but the joy surpasses it all.
In 2010 I heard distinctly God call me to walk closer to Him. ¬†He had in fact, been calling me closer for about 3 years…then a strong pull during the last 2 months of 2009, then WHAM!. ¬†The day came and it was so loud in my spirit and heart that I felt surely someone else heard it too. ¬†But no. ¬†It was just for me. ¬†It was undeniable. ¬†I even felt like the Marine Corp road signs at that point were all for me.
Ours has been a journey of stages. ¬†God has lead us along–and there have been days filled with SUCH joy, it is hard to put into words…and some filled with heartache. ¬†BUT, through all of this, God has shown Himself faithful and true. ¬†JUST as the Bible says. ¬†Faithful and True. ¬†Revelation 19:11
Can I ask you to pray for us? ¬†We’ve so much to do–and I feel the urgency of the hour upon us. ¬†We are almost out of time–and there are lives yet to be given a chance to know Him…we want to share Him with them. ¬†We can’t get there without support and prayers. ¬†PLEASE PRAY. ¬†That’s most valuable right now.
There’s more to share–but now that I’ve finally gotten that off my chest and mind–I think I can sleep…..

Until He Comes,

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Happy Anniversary-to My Love.

Happy Anniversary 2015

You started this morning with “Endless Love”….the very song that we claimed as “our song” 33 years ago.

I didn’t wear a floor length white gown…You didn’t wear a tux. ¬†We didn’t have all the bells and whistles of a big cathedral…but tucked inside the heart of us, was a steadfast-strong love. ¬†A love that could endure hardship– the kind that would last years. ¬†There were times it was so hard I began to try and figure out which of us broke the mirror. ¬†Neither of us. ¬†It was not a run of bad luck because¬†a broken looking glass–it was just life stuff. ¬†And it happens to everyone at some point.

But we never went hungry. ¬†You saw to that. ¬†I cooked–what you provided (even though we had chicken legs for every meal over a week) –you always said, “thanks-I enjoyed it” ¬†(Do people still say that?) –and we shared our heart with our Father–and were thankful for the two best and dearest blessings of life, our baby girls. ¬†And God saw us “through” each and every trial.

I told Aimee this week that of all the trials that had come our way, God had always saw us through. ¬†He had never removed Himself from our situation–no matter how tough it might have been.

When you tell someone our “story” of how and where we married, I smile inside–because they really have no clue. ¬†Young adults who are now planning those amazing weddings –[with the glitter and candlelight]– I hope they realize without God as the center of their marriage–AND the center focus of each one’s own life, their marriage may not survive the holocaust against the sanctity of holy matrimony in the coming years (even as of this week).

We don’t live in Mayberry…

I hold dear and am so jealous to maintain our love and the special bond that we hold sacred. ¬†There are moments in our lives etched in my brain. ¬†Like this morning when you handed me your phone to play this song and said ¬†you were trying to get it to facebook but was having trouble. ¬†And moments when you held our babies. ¬†And our grandbabies. ¬†And the morning that the mouse had chewed my favorite skirt that my mother made me and I cried and you pulled me onto your lap and I believe you would have shot the mouse…

Sure, like any couple, there have been tough times–times when the love wasn’t burning with passion–but we choose to remember and hold onto the precious times and learn from mistakes of the past. ¬†It’s an incredulous expression you get from those that you tell, “Angie and I have never had an argument”… I want to even laugh now, because while I know it’s true–we have a certain gift from God in that. ¬†I quickly assure them, “It’s not that we’ve never had a disagreement–or that I’ve never had my feelings hurt–or that neither of us has ever been mad at the other”… we have. ¬†All of that. ¬†But it’s what we choose to do. ¬†We talk our way through it when the time is right…and the temperaments are calm–and after God has been sought.

[I want to say to anyone reading and you have just gasped at the thought of not “giving them a piece of your ¬†mind”…honey, give your mind to Christ. ¬†If you start handing out pieces to your spouse every time they make ¬†you upset–you’ll have none left in a few years–]

I am so NOT perfect. ¬†Even after 33 years– I still mess things up. ¬†I still burn cookies and pizza because I get caught up in something else. ¬†And I’m glad that after 33 years– we are just as much in love as the day we said “I DO!” in front of God, our 3 witnesses, the Justice of the Peace–in the Radio Shack. ¬†(I guess that will give folks something to talk about!) LOL.

When we renewed our vows on our 5 year anniversary and took communion with our then Pastor Wayne Fussell, I walked out feeling just as married as I had before–but there was a deeper sense of commitment–that would be needed in the coming years. ¬†God has been INCREDIBLY awesome to knit us together as one.


A side note to couples– pray for one another. ¬†If you don’t you won’t make it. ¬†That’s just the truth. ¬†


When Guy Tatum gave the “Band of Brothers” their new “One Year Bible” and encouraged them to “pray for their wives” (I know this not because Jeff told me [there’s a sacred code of honor among this prayer group of men], but because it showed up in our lives), ¬†it made an impact on our marriage–in our home–MOST OF ALL, in ME! ¬† My “security” level went through the roof–because Jeff took the time each morning to hold me and pray for me. ¬†And if by chance I left before he was able to get back home to pray (he left for his camp work around 6:00 each morning), then he would call me as I drove to work. ¬†He prayed, I drove, I cried, and I praised God for him. ¬†And I GREW spiritually. ¬†Hey–it doesn’t have to be a long prayer–just ask God to bless them and keep them safe! Start there! ¬†Ask God to protect their mind from the enemy attacks–I can promise you this–there is an enemy out there who wants to destroy all marriages that God has put together–and the enemy starts with insecurity in the heart and home.

Yes, our actions do speak louder than our words!

If you want a marriage that lasts…finding the one God has created JUST FOR YOU is first on the list of to-do’s before the I-Do’s. ¬†You won’t know by trying them all…you will know by waiting on God and praying. ¬†2) ¬†Put God FIRST. ¬†3) ¬†PRAY TOGETHER. ¬†It’s the cement in your love. ¬†You could have the most passionate love–but it will not be that way in 50 years…I mean face it–you will AGE. And aging shows up. ūüôā ¬†What you lay as the¬†foundation of your marriage in the early years, will carry you through the later years. ¬†If your spouse is your best friend–you will enjoy life, love and marriage a whole lot more. ¬†To the fullest!

And the final thing that will hold your heart, home and marriage secure: ¬†Put God FIRST. ¬†I know I repeated that one–but God is the only one who knows and does what is best for each one of us….when my honey has hurt my feelings–I tell God. ¬†When I have made him aggravated…I know he tells God. ¬†Because it is the Holy Spirit who softens my heart–and it is the Holy Spirit that helps Jeff see my side. ¬†Not that my side is the right side. ¬†Jeff often maintains his view, but at least he can see where I’m coming from and he can better understand. ¬†See? ¬†It’s God who holds the manual for marriage….and it’s The Bible.


I gave all of that for free…call it Jeff and Angie Marital Advice 101. ¬†What I give my darling man, is all of me for the rest of this earthly life. ¬†God is first– and I’m thankful that He gave me you. ¬†He knew just who I would need to lead me further spiritually–and who would love¬†me for all my days….the young vibrant and fun days–as well as these “wee bit older” and hot flashin’ days. ¬†You are my¬†dearest-bestest-friend and I promise to love you and bless and cherish you–till death do us part.

You are my –Endless Love….

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A Note To My 9 Year Old Missionary Friend.

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Dear Kaylee,

Your vision and heart for others will reap rewards long after the dust settles from this trip.

The seeds sown through the work of your hands, and the fingers of others (the kids in your children’s church) will multiple countless times–until a great Harvest. ¬†When I looked at these kids–I thought about you–your heart and what you did so that they could have a constant reminder of their decision to follow Jesus Christ.

Your ¬†act of faith and obedience amazed me–as so many “grown-ups” walk in fear so often…. (I, myself have been that grown-up). ¬†Thank you for teaching us all a lesson.

The lesson I learned–big jobs-small jobs–ALL jobs matter in the Kingdom of God. ¬†Every single thing we do to express our love for God–thankfulness for our salvation–MATTERS…

I know you have a heart for missions–I am going to pray that God will continue to grow that feeling–and that He shows you every time what He wants you to do. ¬†Don’t be afraid to tackle a larger than life kind of job. ¬†If God plants the seed in your heart–pray it through and believe He can accomplish it through YOU. ¬†HE CAN!!

Sarah, you and Cory have two amazing girls. ¬†I know you realize that. ¬†I am amazed at the heart of those two–what you have sown into them is growing, maturing and blossoming into God’s purpose–His useful vessel that He will continue to use to pour out on others… I’m so glad to have been a part of what He started in her life! ūüôā

To all other mama’s and daddy’s out there: ¬†Read the Bible with your children….pray with them–besides the blessing at mealtime. ¬†Talk to them about missions–about how we all have a part we can play to plant seeds of salvation for others ALL OVER THE WORLD. ¬†Young kids like Kaylee can play just as big a part as the one who packs a suitcase and boards a plane. ¬†It’s up to all of us to do our part!

 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.  Matthew 24:14 NASB

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Special thanks to David Pettis for having cards printed to explain the colors and serve as a reminder of the day they made a decision to follow Jesus.  They are a great tool to use to witness!



Lasting Impressions

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Have you ever wanted to do something that made a lasting impression?  A good one.  I’ve encountered my share of bad impressions, and they’ve lasted a while, but good impressions, I believe last longer.  Good impressions live in the hearts and minds of others and in times of heartache, a good impression is often retrieved for comfort.

Do you enjoy giving a long thought out gift for a dear friend or loved one?  They see you–and know you love them and care for their well being.  But, let me share with you something I discovered:

Often in giving, the best feeling is knowing they don’t have to know who you are.  The recording of your love and compassion is recorded for all eternity.

The greatest joy for me, is watching these teachers receive what YOU gave.  If you could see into the eyes and hearts of these teachers and the principal (standing beside Jeff), you would experience the joy of giving–as never before.  It was like Christmas to these.

Necessary items that our schoolers take for granted, these do not.  We are so accustomed to running to the dollar store or local wally-world that we forget there are those who have no such luxury.

Luxury?  A trip to the dollar store?

Indeed.

These teachers (and there are about 9 not pictured), have the joy of teaching and training the next generation–but they must do so with such limited income and in order to teach, most of them give more than just their time.  They give their income.

In order to have paper for the students, the teachers buy it.

To color, write or draw, more often than not, the tool comes from the teachers.  We discovered that in order to make copies, the teacher has to travel about 30 minutes to a neighboring town to make copies because the school had no copier or printer.  The Lord supplied that need through someone who sent with us a copier for the principal.  And several purchased print cartridges.

This past year, we took more supplies and more printers.  Three to be exact.  So that the teachers could all have access to things that are needed in the class room.  God burdened someone’s heart with that treasure for the school at Don Lorenzo.

This year, we are traveling back, but to 4 different schools.  We hope, through generous donations to be able to take supplies, and even a printer or two.  The school supplies are of utmost importance.  Through your gifts of crayons, pencils, sharpeners, rulers, glue, etc. we are able to bless them and help with the education process of these growing children.

100_1598This little girl (Ruth), who every team member came to love in 2013, needed a new walker.  We took up an offering among us and had enough to buy her a nice walker that will grow with her and help her navigate the dirt road where she lives–and we made a lasting impact on her life.

We really never know what needs we will encounter that we aren’t expecting.  But, rest assured, we always encounter needs.

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The needs are there.

The needs are often more than we can meet.

But with the help of friends back home, we can.  It takes us all working together to bear the burden for others.

We will take new testaments for the children, and gifts for the teachers, through the very generous donations from a group of women in a local church, they have supplied us with handmade pot holders!  (We are beyond excited!)

So, maybe you have read all this and wonder, “what can I do to make a lasting impression”.  I’m glad you asked!

We are taking New Testaments, soccer balls with scripture on them, and school supplies.  You may simply make your check out to Focus Forward Ministries, Inc. and drop it in the mail to Post Office Box 5773, Marianna, Florida 32447, and mark it Mission to Bolivia.  We leave May 30 and hope to take boxes of generous love and donations to those we have grown to love and care about!

IF you are near us and would like to drop off a box to us to pack with our belongings, you know where we live!  We gratefully accept your support and prayers!

And, if you know us well, you know that God has been working in our hearts for a “new step of faith”…and we sure would appreciate all your prayers.  Really.

Time is short–and our desire is to do all we can–with every breath in our bodies, until He calls us home.  we want our impression to be Jesus.  And He is everlasting.

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¬© Angie Knight 2015.  All rights reserved.  Photos copyright protected.  All rights reserved.


Intentionally Sacred

A scrap of paper was all I could find that morning, but I knew I had to record what I felt. ¬†There was a significant pause that I felt as I entered the room. ¬†This room was no ordinary room. ¬†It was the space that my brother-in-law used as his meeting place with Christ–every morning. ¬†There was a pause indicative of time with God here. ¬†Tangible. ¬†The hush stalled me in the doorway and I slipped off my shoes.01-IPAD-2014 302tomas

My senses came fully aware of everything in an instant.  The feel of the nubby texture of the carpeting underneath my feet; the ticking of time; and my breathing.

The clock reminded me of the time that is passing.  Hours, minutes and seconds swiftly escaping-never to return.

There was a holy hush in the room.  The ssshhh sound of aerated water coming from the filtered faucet.  Water from a backyard hose makes an altogether different sound.

I eased into one of the wing-back chairs and remembered what my sister, Aimee said about this style of chair–with its tall sides, “feels like I can lean over and rest my head on the shoulder of God.” ¬†Yes, that’s it exactly in this reverent room.

Windows directly across afforded an expanse of creation that was breathtaking.  Growing things and flitting wings; both birds and butterflies.

Deep breath as the Presence of Holy invades–as a permanent Resident. ¬†He knows this place. ¬†He knows His place. ¬†In me–all of me. ¬†I ask for more. ¬†Tears sting as a song of praise fills my mind. ¬†He’s so good.

Outside this world, ¬†this intentionally sacred place, there exists a cacophony of actions, things that would pull the mind and body into a distorted knot–the minute the feet left the threshold. ¬†But inside, the ointment, the oil of healing–mind, body, and soul, was applied. ¬†But it’s all a choice. ¬†Yours and mine.

Before I asked her, I knew holy discussions ensued in this room. ¬†His prayer room. ¬†My brother-in-law, the minister. ¬†The one younger than my Jeff, yet he was the one who offered us John 9:1-3, when we were waiting on our first born. ¬†He was the one we went to at every stage of change–good or bad, through-out our married life. ¬†His relationship with his Father was felt in the room. ¬†I could still sense it. ¬†The residual effect of times spent in the Presence of The Holy One stung my eyes as they filled and spilled down my face. ¬†Like the fragrance of incense. ¬†It remained.

The sound of snapping lids closing containers tight brought my mind out of its place of prayer.  Life.  Constantly reminding us we are here for a season and purpose.

I rose from my seat and began going about the room recording the light changes with pictures–wanting to somehow preserve the feel of the room.01-IPAD-2014 300

There are many times I feel that sacredness in my own house–but it must be an intentional action. ¬†The feeling is not often enough. ¬†I’ve not been as intentional as life cries out for it to be.

Toma told me that morning that she and Whit had always shared the front room for devotion. ¬†As I walked into that room I felt the same Presence of God hovering–as if beckoning me to pause. ¬†To be intentional. ¬†To rest there… I can’t linger. ¬†My heart wants to–but my mind pulls me to hurry through the day.

I imagine that the same thing happens to you.

Friend, there is something –or rather Someone found in the sacred moments of a pause. ¬†To be intentional about creating a sacred place in our homes and hearts. ¬†I have to work at it. ¬†It won’t happen accidently. ¬†Even placing things in the room in such a way that brings harmony. ¬†Sacred moments don’t happen without us being intentional about seeking Him.

That morning my scribbling words on a scrap of paper marked me.  I came home and wrote it in my prayer journal.  I needed to pull those moments back in close.  To remind myself to become more intentional about everything.

“Life. ¬†Living intentionally for eternity”, became the focus. ¬†A new season for us. ¬†We stepped out in faith to the unknown. ¬†Really. ¬†Even today I know without God, none of this¬†is possible….but hand Him an impossible situation–and He is ABLE.

Living an intentionally life of sacred holiness will not happen by accident. ¬†Purpose and passion is demanded. ¬†Giving up our rights to ourselves. ¬†When God speaks, nudges, or whispers to us–something is required. ¬†Sometimes “action”–but other times, “stillness”. ¬†Too often we mistake the action for stillness-the pause.

Father, help me recognize Your Voice. ¬†Help me to become more aware of You than ever before–I long to live intentionally sacred before You. I give You all of me–holding nothing back. All glory and honor goes to You! In Jesus holy name, Amen.

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