Wherever He leads I'll go

Archive for the ‘Just me’ Category

Won’t you join me?

A lot has happened since my last entry.¬† I’ve spoken in a few churches…

Randy Carruth and I both spoke at Cedar Grove BC in Lecompte

Randy Carruth and I both spoke at Cedar Grove BC in Lecompte

I’ve decorated for Christmas and I’m sure I’ve gotten a few cavities from all the saccharin Christmas movies I watched!

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I’ve sent and received many Christmas cards. I’ve prayed for all those I received cards from and accepted the blessings that came with the cards I received. I’ve visited with friends and family and participated in three Dirty Santa’s and we’ve all opened a shameful number of gifts…

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…and I’ve participated in the whole Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty defense. I’ve been told that I should be their P.R. person…I’m game if they are! ūüôā

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I’ve had a great Thanksgiving and Christmas season. However, the best part of my season had nothing to do with me but with all of you…and with two young adults from Twin Bridges Baptist Church…and with the children and leaders of two Indian Reservations and one Indian community in Mississippi.¬† The best part of this season was the Christmas Shoebox ministry that many of you made possible.

I sent out a request for help in providing our Native American children with Christmas gifts and the response was wonderful!  Ten churches and six individual families participated in this ministry providing a total of 395 shoeboxes!  180 of the boxes went to the Lac du Flambeau reservation in Wisconsin while 161 went to the Colville reservation in Washington State and 54 boxes went to Corinth Baptist Church, a Choctaw church in Philadelphia, Mississippi.

One little boy in Mississippi is happy to receive his Christmas backpack from Pisgah Baptist Church in Forest Hill.

One little boy in Mississippi is happy to receive his Christmas backpack from Pisgah Baptist Church in Forest Hill.

It was a beautiful day with fresh snow on the ground when Vicki James of Morning Star Ministries delivered these gifts to the children of the Colville Reservation in Washington State.

It was a beautiful day with fresh snow on the ground when Vicki James of Morning Star Ministries delivered these gifts to the children of the Colville Reservation in Washington State.

This ministry began last year at the request of two young men, John Phillips and Zeb Mathews, both of Twin Bridges Baptist Church.  Their simple request provided approximately 100 boxes last year and turned into something we never imagined this year!

This year John and I were joined by Heather Dix, also of Twin Bridges, when we headed to the Lac du Flambeau reservation to deliver gifts and participate with the Lac du Flambeau Bible Baptist Church in ministering to the Ojibwe people there.

John Phillips and Heather Dix getting boxes ready.

John Phillips and Heather Dix getting boxes ready.

The church members provided a luncheon of Creamy Beef Fricassee, Chicken and Wild Rice Soup and homemade Bread Pudding.  The room was full.

The community at Lac du Flambeau joined us for lunch.

The community at Lac du Flambeau joined us for lunch.

Then we handed out gifts to a group of very excited children. We enjoyed watching the kids open their gifts…but we had even more fun watching them enjoy their gifts!

 

This little girl had a box full of goodies but her very favorite gift was this small silk plant. You just never know what will appeal to them the most!

This little girl had a box full of goodies but her very favorite gift was this small silk plant. You just never know what will appeal to them the most!

There were lots of jump ropes and the kids loved them!

There were lots of jump ropes and the kids loved them!

There were lots of bubbles on hand

There were lots of bubbles on hand

Then it was time to brave the cold, head out into the snow and deliver the remaining gifts. The wind chill that day was 25 below but the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. You could hear some of the kids squealing inside when they realized they were getting gifts. ūüôā

John and Heather braving the cold to deliver more gifts.

John and Heather braving the cold to deliver more gifts.

Pastor Bill Earl, his wife, Bridget and their kids, Taylor, Zayne and Tallen are so wonderful about making us feel at home and allowing us to turn their home upside down.

The Earl family are wonderful about opening their home to us and helping us make a huge mess while we are there!

The Earl family are wonderful about opening their home to us and helping us make a huge mess while we are there!

The land here is as beautiful as the people and we three Louisiana natives were in awe of that beauty.¬† There really are no words…the pictures say more than I ever could…

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The Lake of Flaming Torches...not so flaming right now...frozen solid!

The Lake of Flaming Torches…not so flaming right now…frozen solid!

We worked hard but we did take some time to enjoy all of this beauty.¬† Heather and I even had the distinct pleasure of (and excuse me for this) having our snot freeze right in our noses!¬† Everyone should get to experience that at least once. ūüôā

Look how deep the snow was!

Look how deep the snow was!

The trip was¬†a fast one¬†and one¬†we will never forget.¬† Yes, the beauty of the land is something we’ll never forget…and the cold is something we’ll never forget…as well as the long drive and the great conversations we had in the car and the friendships we formed. But more than anything we will never forget¬†how great it felt to watch a child open a gift¬†and know that someone¬†in Louisiana took the time to minister to them through a simple box and a few toys.

 

So, what is next on my agenda?¬† I’m¬†doing some contract work for the Louisiana Baptist Convention for the next month.

Then I’m going to be contacting¬†reservations and groups I worked with last year and making arrangements with them for this coming summer.

I’m also going to¬†be meeting with new groups and new reservations¬†and Native communities to discuss adding to the summer ministry. That means I have a lot of planning to do. I¬†hope to have it all done by the end of February because in March I’ll be¬†going with “I¬†Am Able Ministries”¬†to Mexico to minister to the Mayan children there.¬† When I return I will be collecting ministry supplies and preparing for the summer.¬† It all seems a long way off but it will be here before I know it!

I traveled a total of 15,161 miles¬†during 2013 and I hope to cover even more territory in 2014! Won’t you join me?

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It won’t be long now…

I haven’t posted in quite a while…mainly because there is so much to do before I head out again. I figured I would give you all a quick update though.

Daddy smallerMany of you already know my dad had triple bypass surgery. It all happened so quickly but with everyone praying he was home before we knew it and is healing quickly. God is good!

I’ve had the privilege of speaking at several churches and I only hope that they have been as blessed by me as I have been by all of them. I’ve been working toward raising the funds I need to take care of the summer, fall and winter mission trips and I’m about halfway there. Again, God is good!

This summer is coming together wonderfully. I’ve got a good group of 11 from Western Series-Indian Summer smallerTwin Bridges Baptist Church in Alexandria and Pisgah Baptist Church in Forest Hill who are going with me to the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington State. We’ll be doing clean up, backyard Bible clubs, prayer walking and fellowship. I have another group of approximately 12 from North Monroe Baptist Church who are going with me to do a Basketball camp at the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.

I’ll be going with Twin Bridges Baptist Church to a reservation in Oklahoma and with Open Door Missions to minister in New Mexico. We’ll be doing Vacation Bible Schools and Revival Services with both of these groups.

20 smallerChristmas is also on my mind! Mission Ventures will be doing Christmas shoeboxes again this year and I hope to include more than one reservation. If any of you are interested in participating in this ministry just let me know.

As always, I covet your prayers. Please pray for all of these mission that are goingWestern Series-Gods Promise Final smaller on throughout the summer, fall and winter. Pray that many come to know Christ. Pray that there are workers to help the new converts become true disciples. Pray that more Native Americans rise up and become leaders in the midst of their own people. Pray for safe travel for everyone and for finances to cover everything that needs to be done. Pray about how you can be a part of all of it. Pray for our health and even our vehicles. You can never pray too much!

I’ll be heading out around mid May but I plan to get another newsletter out before I go so be on the lookout for it.

God bless you all and I’ll keep you posted!

I stand amazed…

I’ve spent the last several weeks…

Working on gathering groups to go to the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington and to the Cheyenne River Reservation in Northern South Dakota.

I’ve signed up with Open Door Missions again to go to New Mexico and¬†with Twin Bridges Baptist Church to go to Oklahoma. I’m also making arrangements to join Bill and Bridget Earl at the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation in Wisconsin in August.

I’ve been doing contract work at home for the Louisiana Baptist Convention. I’ve also visited friends in Arkansas and I have a few upcoming speaking engagements.

All of this is par for the course when it comes to missions ministry…we all have details to work out each day no matter what our life’s work is. But then there are the moments that leave you speechless (a major feat for me).

I’ve had a few of those moments lately. For me, the greatest tool in my ministry, after prayer and the Word, is my car. I put a lot of miles on Sophie (yes, I’m one of those dorks that names their vehicle) but I also take better care of her than I do myself! I very rarely get in that car without praying over it and thanking God for it. She’s paid for and even though she has 126,000 miles on her at 6 years old, she has given me very little trouble.

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Zeb Mathews and John Phillips taking care of Sophie in Wisconsin

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the “Check Engine” light had come on. My first thought was the fact that I did not have the funds to have anything fixed at the moment. I was on the way to the Post Office so I just prayed and told God it was all in His hands. I should not have been surprised at what I found when I got to the Post Office….a surprise check for a generous amount from Harmony Baptist Church in Glenmora.

The check was definitely the answer to my prayer but even more important was the letter that accompanied the check. Several weeks before, the pastor, Robbie Rollins, had asked me for 10 prayer requests for my ministry for a missions themed Super Bowl party their church was having. I sent the ten requests and didn’t think about it again. The letter explained that the youth and young adults at their church had a Super Bowl prayer event where they each pledged x-amount of money per point that their team scored to give to my ministry. During commercials and at halftime, the television was turned off and their youth minister covered one of my prayer needs, discussed it and revealed the Biblical relevance of it.

It didn’t stop there. The church body that didn’t participate in the Super Bowl event met at their regular time and did the same thing. Their normal sermon time is approximately 35 minutes but this prayer time lasted over an hour. Afterwards, they received an offering for my ministry. There are even some who have dedicated themselves to keeping my prayer requests before their eyes and before the Lord regularly.

Y’all, the check was the answer to a prayer but the idea that these people had spent so much time in prayer for my prayer requests and would continue to do so was overwhelming and brought tears to my eyes right there in the Post Office.

The story doesn’t end there. I brought my car to have it repaired and all that was needed was for some box to be cleaned…please don’t ask me any questions about what box because I am a woman who knows NOTHING about mechanics of any kind. ūüôā The cost was minimal so I¬†was able to do something I didn’t think I would be able to do…repair¬†my driver’s window after 8 months of having to open my door at drive thru’s, etc. (You can read about that in another post entitled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”).¬† The window needed to be fixed for the sake of safety but it was last on my list.¬† Being able to have it repaired was an unexpected blessing.

Two days later my car wouldn’t start at all. I panicked for about 20 minutes (a major improvement over the Terry Tanner I used to know) and then I reminded myself that God was in control. Thanks to Connie and Phil Thomas, I now have AAA so I had the car towed free of charge. I will admit, I was quite aggravated with myself for having that window repaired because I figured now I would need more money for these repairs. I…was…wrong. (I knew that would happen some day. Ha!)

Price Auto informed me that the wires to the fuel something-or-other were bad and had become disconnected. They felt that may have happened when they cleaned that box thing-a-ma-jig; therefore, they repaired it free of charge. Imagine my relief and my dismay at just how faithful God is!

Friends, I get to see this kind of thing so often now. I’ve been surprised with last minute funds that have gotten me home when I didn’t think I was going to have enought to get¬†home. I’ve received monthly pledges from individuals that were totally unexpected. I recently received a monthly pledge from First Baptist, Rayville as a result of the article the Baptist Message did on me. I don’t know anyone from that church and I have never spoken there so, once again, I was left speechless at God’s provision. Zeb Mathews, a young man I’ve ministered with from Twin Bridges Baptist Church, is giving a concert for his senior project and all proceeds are going to my ministry. I am blessed at EVERY turn!

When I stepped out on faith, I had no idea how things would work out but God did. I have not wanted for anything and He has provided for every surprise. I haven’t been buying many purses lately (a past obsession) but, then again, I already had too many of them. ūüôā I don’t live extravagantly but God knows what we need…and He does provide for His children. I find myself constantly standing amazed in His presence.

And as for that letter from Harmony Baptist Church in Glenmora…well, it now hangs on the wall in my office here at home to remind me of just how awesome God is and how awesome His people are! Thank you all so much!

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The letter from Harmony hangs in my office to remind me of God’s faithfulness!

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Merry Christmas and Thank You!

Newsletter December 2012 2

I Can Only Imagine…

Tomorrow I head out again.  As I was getting ready to go I realized I had not updated everyone on my last trip.

After I finished with my work at the Pine Ridge & Cheyenne River¬†Indian Reservations in South Dakota I headed on to the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation in Wisconsin.¬† I had a wonderful visit with my friends there.¬† You may remember that I was there this past April/May and we worked on getting a children’s church started for the children on the rez.¬† At that time they did not have a pastor but I am proud to report that they do now…and he’s a Louisiana man!¬† His name is Bill Earl and he and his wife Bridget and their children are from Elizabeth, LA.¬† I can’t tell you¬†how good it was to have a few more southern accents on the rez!¬† Bill and Bridget are a perfect fit for the Bible Baptist Church there at Lac du Flambeau.¬† The people there love them and we already see God doing wonderful things through them.

I am looking forward to returning to Lac du Flambeau in December to help distribute Christmas shoeboxes to the children there.  By the way, if you would like to help out with that ministry just give me a call.

Now most of you know me by now so you know that I took each chance I got to enjoy the scenery.¬† And boy was there some scenery to enjoy.¬† I’m a bit of a fanatic when it comes to Fall colors and the leaves were at their peak while I was there.¬† Heaven!!!

Every where I went there was gold…

And orange…

And all colors in between….

I think my favorite may be the trees that were just beginning to turn…they were a combination of lime green and yellow and their reflections were stunning.

Everywhere I drove was beautiful.¬† There was absolutely no escaping the beauty…

The beauty was there even when you looked up…

I took a walk down a trail one day and prayed.¬† I told God I couldn’t imagine heaven being any better than this.¬† But what’s so incredible is that it is better than this.¬† Mercy Me phrased it most accurately in their song; “I Can Only Imagine.”¬† I can only imagine how incredible heaven must be.¬† How beautiful. How breathtaking.¬† What I see on earth now is just a “foretaste of glory divine.”

I digress. ūüôā¬† Instead of heading straight to Connecticut after leaving Wisconsin I came home instead.¬† I needed to raise some more funds and get some things in order before heading to Connecticut.¬† I decided that I was going to have to work a little harder at finding inexpensive places to stay while on these trips.¬† So…I got online and found three Christian Campgrounds in Tennessee, Virginia and Connecticut.¬† I contacted them about lodging and as a result my total cost for lodging on this trip is $30.00!¬† I’ll be staying at Camp Agape in Benton, TN my first night on the road.¬† They are a Southern Baptist Campground.¬† I’ll be staying the next two nights at Shenandoah¬†Springs Campground near Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.¬† They are an inter-denominational¬†campground but the pastor and his wife are Southern Baptist.¬† Then, in Connecticut, I will spend 9 nights at the Willimantic Christian Campground; owned by an inter-denominational Christian group.¬† God is good!

Now let me share with you a way that God provides when we least expect it.  I needed about $1,000.00 to pay my bills and make this trip.  I started out with $150.00 but I kept making my plans like I already had the money I needed.  I am leaving tomorrow and by yesterday I had received $990.00.  Again, God is good!  I also had a donation strictly intended for me to get AAA Auto Insurance in case I have problems while on the road.

I can’t begin to tell you how exciting it is to see these kind of things happen.¬† I’ll admit, I get a bit nervous at times but God always provides what I need, when I need it through people like you.¬† Thanks to you all!

I’ll head out in the morning and I’ll keep you all posted as often as I can while on the road.¬† In the meantime, please be in prayer for the contacts I make to work with the Mashantucket Pequot tribe in Connecticut.

 

Confused in Kansas…

I spent 8 more hours on the road today.  It was basically uneventful but there were two instances that caused me to pause and wonder and one instance that just sent me running!

The first instance was the one that sent me running.¬† It was a routine (or so I thought) stop at a gas station.¬† I had swiped my card, pressed “yes” for a receipt and then I saw them…yellow jackets!¬† They were flying around the trash can by the pump.¬† What in the world were yellow jackets doing at a gas station trash can???¬† Many of you know about my recent experience with my Uncle’s 37 stings and my one little one (that hurt BAD) and I did NOT want another one!¬† So…I pressed cancel and drove to another pump.

The first instance that made me say “hmmmm” was when I requested that my GPS lead me to the nearest Wal-Mart on my route.¬† When I arrived this is what I found…

Definitely NOT Wal-Mart!

Then, after I found the REAL Wal-Mart, I got back on the interstate where I happened to see this…

Now, I don’t know about you but to me¬†that bares a striking resemblance to one of those nuclear blast mushroom clouds.¬† I didn’t stop but I put the window down and took this while I was driving….just in case it was the real deal.

I’m in a hotel in Nebraska tonight.¬† There’s been no news about a nuclear blast so I suppose all is well. ūüôā¬† I am arriving at Pine Ridge tomorrow and I’ll probably hit the ground running so this may be it for a few days.¬† I’ll post the ministry details as soon as I have a chance.

God bless you all and thank you for your prayers!

Heading out tomorrow…

I’ve made most of my arrangements and I’m headed out again tomorrow.¬†This trip¬†is more about¬†making new contacts and renewing old ones rather than actual hands on ministry.

The first leg of my journey will be at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.¬† I am joining Gaits to Heaven¬†ministry there for a Women’s and Girls’ retreat on the 22nd.¬† I’ll also be visiting with friends while I’m there. Then I am heading 4 hours north to the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation (still in South Dakota) to visit with the pastor of LaPlant Baptist Church to see if there is anything I can help them with next summer.

From South Dakota, I am heading to the Lac du Flambeau and Menominee reservations in Wisconsin for seven days where I am meeting with the members of the Bible Baptist Church to renew friendships and see how things are going there.

Then it is on to the Connecticut/Rhode Island area where I am meeting with a pastor there about a potential future ministry to the Mashantucket Pequot tribe in Mashantucket, CT.

I plan to return home by October 16.

Please keep me in your prayers.  I need prayers for:  1.  That the Holy Spirit goes before me and prepares the hearts of all those I come in contact with; 2.  Safe travel; 3. Good car performance; 4.  Finances to finance the second half of the trip; 5.  For doors to be opened everywhere I go.

Thank you all so much and I’ll keep you posted throughout the month!

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