Sunday, April 26, 2009

Don't Give Up

Ok, was I the only person on the planet that had not heard Susan Boyle sing? Friday night we had dinner with some friends while our kids were at TFX. Everyone was talking about Susan Bolye so I just looked her up on youtube. (I could link it here but it's too much trouble so go to youtube and look it up if you have not heard her yet.) She was incredible but the phenomenal thing was the judges faces when she started to sing and the reaction of the crowd to her. (She was on a tv game show called Britain's Got Talent.) She's not old by any means (ONLY 47) but when asked why she had not fulfilled her dream yet she responded that she had not yet had the chance.

Here's the questions: What's your dream? What, or who, is holding you back from achieving your dream? (is it you...are you the one holding yourself back?) What's keeping you from going for it?

Reader - just GO FOR IT! Don't give up, never give up! No matter what happens to Susan Boyle it's a great reminder for all of us to never give up fighting for that dream. We just might surprise someone...we just might surprise ourself.

And that's all I got cuz that's probably way more for me than anyone else reading these words.

Serving the King,


Thursday, April 23, 2009


Below is a poem that Jessica wrote and I took off her facebook. It's her second poem to write in a week...the first was for a friend of hers who had gone through "Every 15 Minutes." She amazes me at times. She's really creative...she made an awesome tshirt for TFX this weekend and helped her brother with his too. Anyway, I just wanted to post the poem here cuz I liked it.

untitled by Jessica

Scared to look back, everyone is looking to you.
You have something to prove, they need you, that much is true.
But the fear grips you and tears you down, you fall and can't get up.
You find yourself wearing this same loser's crown.
What they need is someone you can't be, they need someone strong.
But your own fear won't set you free, and your pride won't leave you alone.
It tells you you don't need them, and fear shakes you to the bone.
You need that comfort of your pride, so you tell them to find their own way.
So you walk away and from your duty you hide,
because let's face you've never been the hero type.

That's it for today! Jeanette

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Follow Me

Check out my layout just over to the right. Over there, below my picture and about me. I'M ON TWITTER! LOL! Johnny, one of our other pastors and I had lunch with a guy from an orphan ministry yesterday and we high-fived cuz we both just got on twitter. I feel so technologically smart, though I'm not. That is evidenced by the fact that I tried to send an emailable audio file for a class I'm teaching on Wednesday nights to my group -- they got the email and the audio file but without the sound. A lot of good that will do them. I am really laughing (yes, out loud, here in my office all by myself) cuz I cannot imagine anyone following me on twitter. My life is just not that exciting or interesting. In fact, I cannot think of one thing to type on twitter so far. I usually cannot think of anything to type on my facebook status either. I really just got on cuz I wanted to follow people. And, once I figure out how to update the twitter thing (or, should I be writing tweet?) from my cell phone it might be useful when I'm away from home. Like in a couple of weeks when I head to Chicago with Jessica for her class trip. Johnny might want to know what we're up to in Chicago. In fact, I'm sure he'll want to know.

Oh my goodness...internet, facebook,'s a new day, for sure...

Serving the King,


PS - And, if you're really web savvy, go to our church website and you can download Johnny's awesome sermon on spiritual warfare and put it on your iPod!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What We Have in Common

Women are women, despite culture or language or location. Even when we cannot communicate with words because of language barriers, there's something about women that just connects. The two pictures to the right are from just about one of my favorite times from my recent trip to India and Nepal. These 2 were taken in a village in India. We dedicated these sewing machines and then had a time where we just interacted with the women there. Salena and I had our cameras and we were taking pictures with them (this one was taken by an Indian guy that I somehow communicated with that I wanted him to take a picture of the four of us!!).

Another day Salena and I wanted to go shopping. One of the ladies went with us -- along with her 3 sons and our security, George. I wish I could explain in written words about the shopping trip. We definitely had a language barrier -- she spoke some English and we don't speak any Hindi -- but somehow we managed to talk about what we liked and didn't like, what things were too expensive, and if something would fit or not. I think the amazing thing that we have in common is our love for God. In India, in Nepal, and on previous trips overseas, I have found that women love God and want to worship Him and serve Him. Even when I have seen and heard women singing in a language I don't understand, the emotion and devotion is unmistakeable. Hands lifted toward heaven mean the same thing in Asia as they do in America. God hears prayers in Hindi just as well as He hears prayers prayed in English. Clapping hands along with the music is a part of worship here and there. What we have in common is greater than the things we don't. Made in the image of a holy and awesome God. Made to worship. Gifted to serve. Promised an eternal future in the presence of our King.

I'm grateful that the images of these women are captured in picture and trapped inside my head. I'm honored to have met them.

Serving the King,


Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Women

I woke up at 4 am...I'm not sure if I am still suffering from jet lag or if I just can't sleep. Sometimes I struggle with sleep. I'm not worried about anything (which is one of the reasons I suffer from insomnia) or anxious about any upcoming event. In fact, there's been one thing after another on my calendar for months and I finally have some breathing room. I was just awake. It provided me with some quiet early this morning to read Scripture and contemplate the part of the Easter story that I will share with my class this coming Sunday morning. I love it when I can meet with God before the hecticness (is that a word?) of the day starts.

Our lesson this Sunday morning is from Luke 24. Early in the morning they -- they being the women from the end of chapter 23 -- went to the tomb. I imagine them walking on the road, carrying the spices they had prepared to anoint the lifeless body of the One they loved. As they walked, I imagine, they talked about what happened over the past days, about what they would find when they got there, and the task they were preparing to accomplish. Scripture tells us in Mark's gospel that they wondered and talked about who would roll the stone away from the mouth of the tomb.

As the women reached the tomb they found the stone already rolled away. They went inside, finding it empty. The stone is rolled away and the tomb is empty...the promise fulfilled.

Maybe you know the story. The women were instructed by angels that the Savior had, in fact, risen from the dead just as He had promised. Go and tell, the angels said. Go find the disciples and let them know what's happened.

My main purpose with AIM (the organization I travelled to India and Nepal with) is women's ministry. Our goal is, in the future, to have women's conferences in Asia. I gave a short testimony about God's call to women at the crusade in Nepal and after I returned to my seat a pastor sitting behind me leaned forward and thanked me. He said, "If our families are strong, our churches will be strong."

God values women. God calls women to accomplish His purposes. God uniquely created women and He gives them (us) talents and gifts to be used for the building up of the body of Christ and to edify others. To the glory of His great name.

So, since this post is already long enough, tomorrow I will post about my encounters with women in India. It just may have been the highlight of my trip. Just a teaser so you'll come back...

Serving the King,


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

God's Awesome Creation

Here's the view from my hotel room window in Kathmandu, Nepal. It's a very crowded city (with traffic worse than India, if that's even possible) in a valley surrounded by the Himalayas. The Himalayas are an amazing creation of God...almost 1,500 miles long and containing some of the highest peaks in the world, including Mt. Everest.

And, here's Mt. Everest. I took this photo myself from a small airplane that takes tourist out from Kathmandu for a one-hour flight out to Everest and back. As you can see, it was a glorious, clear day. I sat in wonder as I viewed the mountains and thought about what a rare privilege it was to be there. There's one peak along the way that our flight attendant pointed out as a holy mountain. Nepalese won't climb it. They worship the creation rather than the Creator.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth. Who has displayed Your splendor above the heavens.
And that splendor that seems to reach almost up to the heavens...
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man, that You take thought of him? And the son of man, that You care for him? Yet, You have made him a little lower than God, and crown him with glory and majesty!
When I saw Everest, words like glory and majesty came to my mind. And, certainly, God tells us in His Word that He reveals Himself through creation. (Romans 1) Yet, this excerpt from Psalm 8 tells us that His priority creation is man -- men and women, boys and girls. We are the ones crowned with glory and majesty.

So, here are some of God's precious creations. Our organization has some children's homes there in Kathmandu and we visited one. This is actually children from 3 homes -- they sang for us both in English and their native language. We gave out school uniforms and shoes purchased by sponsors in the US. One of the most powerful moments of the whole trip was when one of the pastors asked one child to pray. When one is praying in Nepal everyone prays outloud. I've experienced that before in Venezuela and I think it's the coolest thing. Here we were, in this crowded room, and all the children were praying outloud simultaneously. It was almost more than I could take...the sweet sound of children talking to God with passion. Tears well up in my eyes even now as I type these words. These are children that have either been abandoned by their parents or are orphans. Yet, they have been brought into these homes where they are being taught about their Creator in a country that is largely Hindu and Buddhist.
O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

To You alone be the glory.
Serving the Creator and King,

Sunday, April 5, 2009

From Last to First

Check out the photo...see the man in the middle with the hat on? He's the President of Nepal. Look 3 people to the left of him. Yep, that's me. Oh yeah, I had tea with the President of Nepal. That's the sort of thing one does while hangin' with a famous person. Salena called him a rock star and he just about is in India and Nepal. Whether you know his name or not, just about everyone on the face of the planet knows his grandfather, Billy Graham. That's Will Graham just to the left of the President.
So, that happened the last day of the trip. I decided to start with the end of the adventure for my web chronicle. That's because just about one of my favorite things happened the first day and I'm saving the best for last.
I was in India and Nepal with an organization I am involved with (AIM) and Will preached a 2-night/day crusade organized by AIM in both countries. The last day of the trip started for me and Salena at a leadership meeting. I gave a message from 2 Timothy 2:3-10. After the meeting Salena and I went back to our hotel. After eating restaurant food in foreign countries for over a week we just wanted something that reminded us of home. We both had peanut butter in our suitcases and we were able to get some bread on the way back to the hotel. I called room service and had them send up some jelly and 2 bottles of Coke -- we had a peanut butter & jelly sandwich picnic in my hotel room. (now aren't you glad you stopped by for that information?)
The crusade in Nepal was in the afternoon and the venue was a soccer field. It was super windy that day and I had on a wrap-around skirt that I bought in Burma a couple of years ago and a scarf I bought in India. As I walked onto the stage to give a short testimony I was handed a mic. I was trying to hold my notes and my flapping Bible pages, my skirt from blowing open, and the scarf from blowing off so I had to ask for a mic on a stand. I tried to regain my composure once I had 2 hands free but soon a young woman from the choir was kneeling in front of me, pinning my skirt with a safety pin while I was speaking. The people were sitting what seemed to be a mile away so it was completely impossible to read facial expressions or to really get a connection with them. I really consider myself a teacher, not a public speaker, so I was already out of my comfort zone. So here's the deal -- I think I did what God wanted me to do and what the president of our organization asked me to do. The results are up to God (glory to His great name and thank goodness it's not up to me!) so I just have to rest in that. Will preached shortly after that and hundreds of people came forward. Some came with faces expressing brokenness and sorrow. Some came with curiosity. I pray that lives were genuinely changed.
We went to the President's house after the crusade and had a dinner at our hotel with some local leaders following that. I made a contact with a woman that I hope will be useful for future ministry in Nepal. We had to get up to our rooms to repack and, get this, I watched American Idol (yes, American Idol on tv in Nepal) while I packed.
The next morning we started for home. We arrived at DFW about 32 hours after we left our hotel in Nepal. I like to go on mission but, even more, I love to be home. It's home, sweet home for me.
Serving the King,