Saturday, December 15, 2007

More Than A Hug.

Yesterday, from start to finish, was one of the most tender days.

I was told that there was a woman coming in to see me that was having a really bad morning. As she walked in to the door and up to the desk, her pain oozed out of her face and body expressions.

I stood up and walked around the desk and took her in my arms and hugged her tight. Her eyes started welling up with tears as she hugged me back and then just almost fell weight less in my arms against me. As she walked out of the physical church building, her load was not as heavy. And I was thankful to have been sitting at the desk when she walked in.

I've talked about G and his wife JE before. Yet, the most priceless times with them have just taken place over the last two days. I was questioned one day not long ago about why I make a point of hugging certain individuals every time I see them. That I stop whatever I am doing and hug them.... The individual asking was greatly puzzled and curious - not offended mind you but definitely intrigued because of the certain individuals as well as me. G is one such individual that I was being questioned about. The individual was glad they asked... So was I... Now, that individual gets hugged as well instead of staying at arms length...

I took time to explain to G and JE why I do so when they were talking to me at the desk in the foyer of the physical church building.... Our bond is even more stronger now than before. G walked up to me last night with tears in his eyes and hugged me tighter than ever and said some thing that will stay with me longer than just a moment in time.... A lingering touch on my heart and soul.... not just his and JE's...

When I was not plating food in the kitchen, I was walking through the crowd of people as they were eating and talking amongst themselves. As I walked up to one table with some precious friends at it... a couple of the faces at their table looked familiar but I could not place my finger on who they were. Hugs were given and then introductions around the table were made... This one couple had attended a few of the July 4th celebrations we've been a part of over the years at these dear friends' home. The couple looked me and said, "You're Camey?" And then it dawned on us all... We haven't seen each other since I was physically healed.... Thank You Lord for healing yet again.. Their faces were priceless.

During some of TfG, I was sitting at the desk in the foyer of the physical church building. This woman walked up to me and asked me about one of the ministries our church has... She had just missed one of the meetings down the hill from our main site. She asked me what was going on inside the sanctuary and then if she could sit in on the last few minutes. When she came back out after it was over... she walked up to me and said, "I've been away. My children and I came and then I stopped. We will be back. We need to come back. We'll be here Sunday night." As tears came down her checks, I put my arms around her and her head landed on my shoulder. I had already taken down her name and phone number so the one ministry in particular can get in touch with her.

It is times like these that shows over and over.... That it is more than a hug.. And dear reader, it is far more than any thing I am capable of on my own... There was a time when using my arms and hands was not possible nor my legs and feet... Because of the Great Physician I came to be able to do so again... And it is out of His compassion... mercy.... grace... love..... that I use what I have been given again to give what is not mine alone to keep..

More than a hug... What do you need to give away today? This moment because of what you've been freely given?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Moved Beyond Mere Words

Last night was beautiful in many ways. It is no secret that I love what I have the privilege of doing on Wednesday nights especially. With all that is going on with TfG, I wasn't really sure how last night was going to go.... Oh my....

As I stood there at the desk folding linen napkins for the dinner performances starting tonight... one by one they came by. The conversations flowed even in the midst of yucky weather outside and individuals running around in makeup and costumes all over inside.

There's one individual that I had not seen in a couple of weeks. Last night, she made a point of walking up to me and speaking from her heart... An apology was offered to me that blew me away. God is so at work in her life. I pushed her limits even on hugging.. but as she was walking away she said, "Thanks for pushing. Keep pushing." That's Him at work.... I'm only a part of what is happening.... This is where ministry for me is as real as typing on this keyboard.

As more individuals realized how long I was working on folding napkins (only 900 or so)... they started picking up napkins and helping me. This was so cool because it was evident that they wanted to do what they could to help make the dinner performances a success. And at times, that includes folding napkins as well as being on center stage performing. Even a certain doctor walked up and grabbed a few to help....

As I've stated time and time before... our lives are everchanging (it's not two words in my fluid vocabulary of living life) in so many ways... yesterday was no exception... I cannot go into real dets at this time... Yet, it is evident that prayers are being answered in ways that I/we honestly could have never imagined. How AWESOME is HE!

And I am moved beyond mere words. That, dear reader is only possible because of Him.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

TfG. Security. Gifts.


Tonight is the last time to purchase tickets for dinner performances. It would be my pleasure to help you secure tickets. Please come see me at the main receptionist desk from 6:00 to 8:15 p.m. As someone said to me earlier, "You mean you might actually work tonight?" I love you people....


Yes. Our local church body and its leaders are working hard to address security measures. The protection of any and all persons who are in the physical church building or in the parking lots are greatly important to us. Please keep that in mind when said measures are put into place....


One - The results of God working in our lives.
Two - meetings with peeps that I love working with.
Three - a lunch date with our oldest son Austin.
Four - an email from someone who is always of encouragement to me just because.
Five - you dear reader.

May the sun be shining this moment wherever you are at even if it is raining outside.

Ooops. Join Us. Answers.


As Brother G and the boys lovingly pointed out to me.... We won't be home starting tonight through Sunday night. The porch light will be on when we are actually home... You are still invited to stop and visit when we are in the house..

Join Us:

If you haven't gotten your tickets yet for Two From Galilee... It's not too late. It will be an amazing time.... Don't miss it... More importantly invite someone who normally might not walk in to a church. The info can be found again here Ticket Sale Vital Information

For those who have asked:

No... Brother G is not singing.. He is going to be with Ms. Sharon cooking in the kitchen.
No... I'm not singing... I'm going to be plating food in the kitchen.
No... Austin is not singing... He is the lighting guy.
No... Travis is not singing... He is going to be one of the servers.. wait staff.
No... Parker is not singing. He is going to be doing whatever anyone tells him they need done.

Again.. Don't miss it... Hope to see you and a friend or two... or three... there.....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Special Message: The Cross

For those who have asked.....

The cross is hanging on the tree in front of the house. Brother G put it up this afternoon. I can still remember when he made it with his own hands at daddy's request all those years ago now.

If you drive by.... please know you are welcome to stop and visit with us. The porch light will be on.

With all the talk about Christmas gifts... may we not forget that had Jesus not died on the cross and rose again on the 3rd day defeating death.... He would have been merely another babe...

Thank You Lord for the message of the Cross especially as we celebrate Christ's birth. No one can ever take Christ out of Christmas.

Listening and Responding to God III

So.... There was surprise for Brother G today when he came home from the physical church building after a meeting.... The surprise was via email and yet spoke volumes into his heart.... and soul.... and all over his face.

There are times in life when we need to thank individuals who truly make a difference in our lives. And even though I've never met this man personally.... I know him because he knows my husband. And as I stated in part II....God has used this man in our lives...

We talked for a bit via email today. His last response to me was priceless about Brother G. And yet again... I'm thankful that God calls me out of the comfort zones and what might be considered a "NO-NO"..... and as a result not only thanked a dear man but also encouraged the heck out of my husband's soul....

A Beyond Thankful Wife

Who needs your encouragement today? You just might surprise someone when they least expect it....

Listening and Responding to God II

Last night was no ordinary Monday night. Brother G was in the big city for his last time until January. The younger boys and I cooked dinner together. As Austin came into the kitchen, there was this whisper that came in to my soul, heart, mind... and yes, of course, ear...

"Talk to the boys now about alcohol from your experiences. They need to hear about this now, not later." - so I did...

Interestingly enough? The younger boys (Travis - 13, Parker - 9) took what I had to tell them far better than what Austin did Sunday night. My halo wasn't as nearly tarnished. In fact, it opened the door for a really great talk with our three sons.. Due to Austin working at the little store in the highly secure gated community, he has had training through the TACB (Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission). He was able to provide his brothers with actual amounts of alcohol per body weight that it takes to be considered drunk. They really listened to him instead of dissing his knowledge on the subject.

After dinner, it was time to take Austin to the physical church building.. He is the lighting guy for Two From Galilee.... We talked along the drive. He told me how proud he was of me for talking to his two younger brothers about the subject. What else was said will stay between us. Let's just say..... God used him to minister to his sister in Christ..... Yes, his mother... But even more importantly, his sister in Christ...

Travis and I spent time talking alone when I got back. He said that he really needed to hear what I had to say because of different individuals involved in his life. We talked about kids he is concerned about given their behavior and especially what they talk about on a daily basis at school. His heart is so big. I also talked with Travis about the fact that I had had sex as a teen. Interestingly enough? The kid showed his mom such amazing grace. He even said that it definitely helped him to know that he really could talk to me about such things not just as a mom but as a sister in Christ. That I'm not some prude who doesn't have a clue what she is talking about first hand.

Parker said that it helped to talk about alcohol because several members of our extended families do drink. And since they do drink when we're around them, it helped explain some of the behavior he was seeing that he did not recognize as being really them...... Wow. He hugged me and thanked me for sharing about my past. Wow again.... We also talked about the fact that just because individuals in our lives drink does not mean that we love them any less or because they have a different stance on drinking than we do.

When Brother G finally made it home.... he shared with me about talking with one of his confidantes. Wise counsel was given about one of the knocks and we're definitely taking it to heart. I, as a pastor's wife, appreciate this confidante more than I could ever tell him. His encouragement to my husband has been immeasurable. He is no doubt one of the voices that God uses to speak into our lives.

I share all this with you dear reader as a part of listening and responding to God... At times it is like peeling back layers of an onion... Oh my.... how it can taste so good when mixed with His love, mercy, and grace.......

How is He stirring up things in your kitchen of life?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Listening and Responding to God.

Over the course of the last few months especially, things have been somewhat confusing. Times of transition where there are no easy answers... except are there? Times where God requires more of me than ever before honestly....

Warning: The following is raw.

Austin and I have had some real in-depth conversations the last 24 hours. On Saturday night, we drove through a city where my past came calling loud and clear. On Sunday night, I shared more with Austin about some of the times I wasn't following God like I should have been. And about the consequences of those actions on my part. He literally called me out about it. Asked why hasn't he heard about that before now - he's sixteen remember? And why others in our student ministry haven't heard about it from me... Like with about the fact that his mother had sex as a teen.... he was mad at me for a bit and then told me to use those experiences to help others. "It might help others to know why you have the position about drinking alcohol that you do." Ouch. My halo fell down again.

Then, this morning, as he was getting ready to go to work at the little store in our highly secure gated community, Austin surprised me with some news. He said, "Mom? I've told my Halo group that I will no longer be able to be their leader." He said that he did that because he was responding to what God told him. He has too much going on right now that is requiring his attention. Something had to give.... it was his Christian Halo clan ministry... His time online is virtually next to nothing now. What kind of leader could he be given that? He's an even better leader now that he has stepped down... then again I'm sort of biased aren't I?

Yesterday, someone said to me, "Camey? You posted about another church knocking at the door. You shouldn't do that kind of thing." Well, frankly.... I/we do not see our current church and any other church that is knocking at our door in competition with each other. We will serve with our current church with joy and with His strength and love until He completely closes that door.... if He even does at all.... One thing He continues to speak to our souls about is being about His kingdom.... That is wherever we may go.... may be.... it does not have to be in a physical church building at all... or with a particular group of people. And remember? We live in a relatively small town any way....

If we truly are His.... listening and responding to Him should be as natural as rain even if it at times it feels more like pulling teeth. There are times when things are confusing... I'm not going to try to pretend that's not the case. And yet, there is peace that when we listen to and respond to Him.... even if we are not sure what colors the walls are being painted..... the foundation is secure.

Are you listening and responding to God this moment?