Monday, September 26, 2016

I want to be GREAT!

Have you ever watched little children get in line?  Many of them will be fighting to be the "line leader."  They push and shove to get to the front.  Often you even see this with adults.  Just turn on the news and watch the presidential election campaigns.

... but leaders are not those who slander others to build themselves up. They are not those who shove others aside to get to the top. This is childish behavior and we must reject it.

Sadly, this is not new to our generation.  We see conflict and strife in Luke 22:24-27.  The disciples were fighting to be #1.  They all wanted to be the greatest, but Jesus stopped them.

He says in verse 26, "but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the youngest (meaning least); and he that is chief, as he that does serve"."

...and then, to add fuel to the fire, He adds in verse 27 "...but I am among you as He that serveth."



You can't ignore that one.

If you want to lead........ serve!

I have been blessed to be in churches over the years where the pastors didn't think it below themselves to serve.  You might see one of them cleaning a toilet, setting up chairs or staying late next to the hospital bed of a sick patient.

"To lead a church is to serve it." - Kelly Minter

This is true leadership.

If you want to be a great boss, serve your employees.

If you want to be a great pastor, serve your congregation.

If you want to be a great mom, serve your family.

You want to be a leader?  Dear friend, SERVE.

We will never be great, until our focus is off of our selves and on to our great GOD and those around us. Let's plan to serve someone this very day! - Rejoicing in the Present.

Friday, September 23, 2016


...Ok, so I know what you are thinking.  I moved to TN and now I need "big hair". 

Well, yes, I did move to Tennessee, BUT, no, I still have regular mom-hair and pretty much NEVER use hairspray ON MY HAIR. 

However, as of late, I have been using hairspray DAILY.

My sweet lil "T" has decided that she enjoys writing on the couches. 

Oh, yes. 

Since we started Avery's school, she has really been getting into the school supplies.  A few days ago, I stepped out of the room to use the bathroom and came back to artwork ALL OVER the back of couch. Then, a day later, I gave her a pen and board to write on while we were doing school and she decided to walk over to the other couch and decorate it. 

She knows. She has been corrected. She had guilt written all over her face, but yet she still did it.  (Sounds like us adults, sometimes, right???)

Well, anyway, this is where hairspray comes in handy.  Hair spray is AMAZING at getting ink out.  It is definitely my GO-TO product whenever "T" starts decorating my furniture. 

  • I spray. 
  • Leave it for a minute. 
  • Wipe/Scrub. 
  • Then I spray again. 
  • After the ink is mostly gone, I use water to finish the job and get the stickiness out. 
The "artistic" 2s can be trying, but hairspray saved the day again. ,If it weren't for "T", those poor hairspray cans would get awful lonely.  I'm sure she is glad to help. - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


My husband and I love to tease, tickle and wrestle with the little kiddos.  Often they will run to the other parent screaming “Poe-tect” ME!!!!   It’s funny to see them run to the one with the most power and then turn around with confidence and continue the fight.

Priscilla Shirer gives a similar story in her book ARMOR OF GOD.  She tells us a story about her boys playing around with her and wrestling her to the ground…

“…sometimes one of them will spring from around a corner, nestle a shoulder into my waistline and sling me, flailing and begging, over his shoulder. His brothers will laugh hysterically while I’m hauled to the sofa, tossed onto the cushions, and then forcibly pinned down, no hope of escape."

Later on in the chapter she writes. “At some point during my wrestling matches with the boys, when I’ve been thoroughly subdued despite my best efforts at fighting back, their father will appear, ready to save and rescue me. The sight of his looming six-foot-three-inch frame will send all the younger Shirer men careening in a million different directions. All of a sudden, I’m free and back on my feet. Not because I’m particularly strong – in fact I’m not as strong as my boys are becoming but because I’m in a relationship with someone who is."

Ladies, did you get that last statement?!?!?!  We are NOT able to fight the devil and his helpers because we are so witty or so strong.  You are not truly free from your addictions because you just woke up and decided to get over them.

The only way for TRUE victory is because i have the power of the ONE who can actually do something about it.

Ladies, there is victory.  We can win!!!! …but we can’t do it alone. It’s all about our Partner.

In Ephesians 1:18-21 and 3:14-19, the Bible speaks to us about the power and the riches He has for us.  It’s not that if we pray we will get them. I t is that THEY ARE ALREADY THERE.  We just need to have our eyes opened and see that they are there.

I want to give you a challenge.  I want you to vow to pray these scriptures over your life every day for at least a week.

Pray that God would open your eyes and that you would see his power and truly know the love He has for you.

Ladies, God is right there ready to empower us, to surround us with His love, to show us what He has planned for us.  Will I take the challenge? Will you pray this over your life and those around you?  I can promise that if we truly desire this, God will answer because this is a YES prayer.  I have already seen Him work in my life. Will you join me??? - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, September 12, 2016


Beth Moore

Priscilla Shirer

Nancy Lee DeMoss

Lysa TerKeurst

These are all great woman who have encouraged me to grow closer to God through His Scripture and through Bible study.

I have other friends and family who have influenced me as well.  There are some that are still in my life and others who have gone on to heaven or to other ministries.

But what is amazing about each of these people is not themselves.  It is the One they serve.  You see, if we took God out of these people, there would be no reason to read their books or listen to their advice.

I am not a follower of man, I am a follower of God. 

I am grateful for their walks and examples.  I am grateful for their advice, encouragement and godly wisdom.  I am a fan of their work, but I am a follower of God.

What about you?  Who encourages you?  Who brings you closer to the Lord?  And, ultimately, who are you following? I would love to hear your comments. Feel free to comment below. - Rejoicing

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Everyone Can Do Something

Everyone can do something…

While we were still deciding whether we were going to take the offer of a position at our present church, there was a question and answer time with the church.  One of the questions that was asked of me was whether my health could withstand the demands of the ministry.  This was a very legitimate question as I do have some health issues.

How I responded to that question was this:  I minister wherever I am.  If I had energy, I could be up and around and involved in what was going on.  If I was exhausted, I could sit and talk to someone.  If I was bedridden, I could send emails or blog some encouraging thought the Lord has given me. I didn’t/don’t have to be in perfect health to be used as the hands and feet of Jesus.

In fact, as I write this, it is 3:19 in the morning. My husband and son are asleep next to me. My daughter is asleep in her room. …and yet, I can not sleep. I  tried to sleep but I just couldn’t. I decided I just wasn’t going to waste my night, tossing and turning. So here I am, with this thought to share.

...and the more I think about this subject, the more I believe, that most people believe that their ministry is the one that the church hands out to them. Maybe it’s nursery on Sunday night, ushering on Sunday morning OR maybe it’s the children’s class they teach.

What if your health can not allow you to faithfully be involved?  What if there are no open positions available? What can you do?

There is good news!!!

There is something for everyone.

Remember that some of Paul’s greatest letters were just that. They were letters. They were letters written from prison. He is still ministering to us today and yet he was not in church.

Our pastor is a quadraplegic and I’m sure some have thought that He could not do what He is doing. But yet, when we are weak, the Lord is made strong. Pastor Bobby’s ministry is touching many and he is exactly what we need at such a time as this.

So, what are your weaknesses? What are your strengths?

Are you bedridden? Are you sick?
Write letters of encouragement. Spend extra time praying specifically for everyone around you. Send emails and texts to your loved ones. Be a light in your community (those that you see often). This may be the doctors, nurses and patients around you.

Do you lack energy? Are you not able to be standing, serving or teaching?
Invite people (notice I didn’t say friends) to your house or to a local area. Sit down and listen to their stories. Just listen. Then speak truth into their lives. Give them Scripture for their struggles and gospel for everyday life.  You don’t have to have a lot of energy, you just have to sit, listen and speak, when the Lord leads.

For the one who feels she just don’t fit into the regular church ministry positions (or maybe all of them are full).  There are loads of things that you can do. Here are some ideas…
1.    Adopt a family. Pray for them. Remember them during special holidays. Invite them over to your house. Be a blessing to them. Invest in their lives.
2.    Invite families over every week/month. Depending on how often you can do this, invite a different family over every week/month. Get to know their stories. Open your home to them. Bless them with hospitality.
3.    Be benevolent. Find out who are the widows, single moms and others who are struggling. Buy groceries for them. Pray for them. Go out of your way to help them when you can. Offer to help by mowing their yard, maybe even cleaning their home or doing other tasks for them.
4.    Pray for your church family.  Pray specifically for each one.
5.    Love on your neighbors. Reach out to your community. Remember them with a gift at Christmas; take over cookies and a smile. Wave at them when you drive by. Get to know them. Be a light to them. Pray for them.
6.    Nursing home ministry. Go to an area nursing home and ask for permission to love on the older folks there. If you can sing, gather them around the piano and sing some of their favorite hymns. Go talk to them. Spend time with them. Pray for them.

Simply just care about people around you.

Look at what you can’t do, acknowledge that and be okay with that.

Then look at where you are and what you can do and DO IT!!!

Be the hands and feet of Jesus, whether you are laying down, sitting and or standing up. – Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, September 5, 2016

God can Use the Rocks.

In Luke 19:35-40, we find Jesus riding a donkey through the streets and the people praising Him.  The Pharisees cried out for it to be stopped, but Jesus replied, "I tell you, that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

This is a good reminder that God does not need us to do His ministry.  He wants us and knows usefulness is best for us, but He can use rocks... and at times I'm sure they might be easier to use.

One of the blessings I have seen over the years is how God fills the gaps.  I dislike change and I hate seeing people come and go in the ministry but transition can be very good.  As of yet, I haven't seen a ministry (upon whom was God's hand) fall completely apart because a person left.  I have only seen how God finds replacements.  Usually there is growth and stretching, but more people end up being involved. 

We had a super-woman secretary at our church for years in Florida whom my family loved.  However, she felt called to move.  We were all quite undone and didn't know how her spot was going to be filled.  She was missed but the Lord used several faithful woman who volunteered throughout the week and a young man who was an assistant to the Pastor.  Quite a few woman took ownership of their new ministry position and the Lord grew them. 

I was one of the volunteers and really enjoyed that time.  I learned new programs and grew close to those I worked with.

When we knew that the Lord was calling us to TN, I started consciously working on finding replacements. One of the programs I started was a mentoring program for the girls that I would counsel.  I partnered up a young adult with each teenager so that each girl would have a strong Christian influence in her life who could love on her and encourage her after we were gone.

I recently talked to one of my friends who is one of those mentors and she reminded me that, because we moved and this program was started, the young adult women now had a new opportunity for growth. 

I have talked to several friends from FL and I am so encouraged by the stories of how the church is thriving.  Praise the Lord. 

This all just reminds me...
  1.  ...that God doesn't need me. It is an opportunity to serve for Him. You can't do anything more valuable then investing in eternity.
  2. ...that transition is hard, but with death, moving and other life changes, God ALWAYS has a plan. God may be moving you out of the way, so that He can grow someone else. Here's a thought: What if God moved us to another church, so that He could grow a whole bunch of His children? How awesome is that!!
  3. always trust God. He's got it.
As I finish up, I just want to clarify something. This article is not for the un-engaged Christian, who needs an excuse for not serving. This is for a tender heart who just doesn't understand what God is doing and to encourage that one to keep going.  Don't make the rocks do your work.  Live for eternity! - Rejoicing in the Present