Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Grateful Heart

Its Thanksgiving week and I have loads of things to do - however, I've chosen to pause the preparations and voice my gratefulness. I am thankful for my family. My parents are my heroes and the best role models any girl could hope for. I am thankful they are still with us this holiday - maybe not in perfect health... but definitely "well" and in good spirits! If I can become half the person they believe I am... I'll be one awesome woman. They have always been my number one cheering section. They have helped me to believe that nothing is impossible for me if God is in it. My sisters and my brother are so precious to me. We will all be together this week and I feel like a little girl on my way to Grandma's house! We have so much fun together - especially with all of our wild and wonderful children and grandchildren.
This year has been different. Storms have raged in my family's life. My sister's youngest daughter committed suicide; and yet peace reigns. Cancer knocked on my very own door - but I sent Jesus to answer it - and all is well. So as the Thanksgiving plans unfold, I have to stop and say "Thank you, Lord Jesus, for my wonderful family... my husband and children... my health and strength... and for all your many blessings on us all." With family, friends - and most importantly - Jesus... what else could a girl ask for? I am blessed - and grateful for my wonderful life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ribbons of Blue Day Conference 2008 Report

Saturday was our fourth annual Ribbons of Blue Day Conference. About 200 girls and ladies came - a little less than what we normally have - but a beautiful crowd. Normally, ROB is held in July, so this rainy, fall morning was quite a different setting. After a fired-up DOZ prayer time, we split up for our morning session (Ribbons and Fringes) - with ages 5-12 in the gym and the teens and adults in the sanctuary.
In the gym the girls enjoyed a story-time re-enactment of my children's book; "Chloe's Ribbons of Blue"... music, games, relays and a wild-hair contest. We wanted them to see how fun it is to be holy, godly and seperate... and to realize that there are lots of other Apostolic girls - just like them - wearing their "Ribbons of Blue" with dignity and boldness!
In the sanctuary we had small group discussion - and then eight attending pastor's wives gave their advice to the "real-life" scenarios we had just discussed. Ladies love giving advice to their "girlfriends" and it was plain talk for a good hour or so! We realized that no matter what the questions are - the answers are all in the Word of God!
Lunch and leisure from noon to 1:30 was full of delicious finger sandwiches, home-made potato and pasta salads, chips and blue-velvet cake! The Benedictions Boutique was open for business and lots of treasures were purchased at a steal! VOICE Student Ministries had their Mixer open with specialty coffees, smoothies and gourmet cheesecakes.
Sis Evangeline woke everyone up from their food-enduced-coma with "Drop-kick Me Jesus" and the afternoon session was rolling! She talked to the girls about the gift that Jesus gave them on the day they were born... especially for their husbands on their wedding night. Her message kept them laughing - but brought new insight and clarity on the value of their purity! I have received several emails and phone calls about that message!
We enjoyed songs, testimonies and dramas from several different churches - Special cudos to the Wilmington girls - their trio was awesome! A sister from Souls Harbor in Charlotte moved us with her incredible testimony... her husband was a Baptist Pastor - and God used a little four year old Apostolic Pastor's daughter who she taught in school to ultimately convert her and her entire family to the Oneness Pentecostal truth! The ladies here in Spring Lake shared testimony, drama and songs - We had a "ribbon-tying" session at the altar - and it was beautiful to see young girls crying, repenting and speaking in tongues as they made fresh,
personal committments to holiness and purity.
I almost cancelled ROB this year - we needed the July dates for another conference - and this summer, while I was in the middle of radiation - I wasn't able to wrap my mind around doing such a big event this year. Now I am so thankful my ladies urged me to go ahead and leave it on the calendar for November. It was a lot less intense this year - no special speakers - we didn't do the big drama we usually do - but God was so pleased. I could feel His approval and His presence in every detail. The emails and phone call reports alone have been reward enough for me.
If you were there and you are reading this - thank you for coming and making the day a success! I hope you were blessed! Thank you for the generous offering - we recouped our expenses - and Ribbons of Blue Day Conference will be FREE again next year!