Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Turning Points

Hello Friends!

My husband, Cecil and I recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, and 34 years since we started dating. Both of these dates are so special to us. The day we started dating holds extra special meaning to us. I don’t want to lessen the significance of our wedding, but without this other day, we would never have had a wedding! How my life’s journey could have been so different.

Our Wedding Day - July 19, 1985
Valentines Day 1982 - Dating for 4 months

That day became what I call a “Turning Point” in my life. The choices that were made that day set Cecil and I on a life-long journey together. Had our choices been different, who knows where our lives would be. Because, don’t forget, God has given us a free will, and there are many examples in the Bible of Turning Points, both good and bad that changed peoples lives forever. Before I tell you my story, I want to note 2 things: 1. This is not a real “spiritual”, dig-in-your-Bible kind of blog. It’s more an example of how God has poured out His grace on my life! 2. At the end of this blog I will list a few people in the Bible (with references). So you can read for yourself some of these biblical examples of turning points. 

For now, back to one of the biggest Turning Points in my life…

The evening of Saturday, October 3, 1981 my parents, my sister Becky and myself went to the State Fair of Oklahoma. When we arrived we met up with a few of the guys from our church youth group, including Cecil. Becky and I had already made plans to meet them and go do our own thing while mom and dad did theirs. Before we could take off, my dad made sure the guys understood one very important thing, one of them was to hold the hand of each of his daughter’s the entire time we were at the Fair. This was because earlier 3 girls had been abducted from there and killed. My dad wanted to make sure someone knew where we were at all times and that nothing happened to us! So Cecil took my hand, and one of the other guys took Becky’s and off we went. To be real honest, I don’t remember much about that night except that I had to have been the happiest girl on earth! Here I was 15 years old, a sophomore in High School, walking around the Fair, holding hands with the one boy I had always loved. In fact, when I was 11, I believe God showed me that he would one day be my husband. My heart was completely full. I’m sure we rode various rides up and down the midway, but nothing is completely clear until we were standing in line for a ride similar to this one…

I’m sure the ride had gone through 2 or 3 cycles as we waited. Finally, we would be in the next group on. Cecil and I stood there, next to the railing when he turned to me, and for the first time, he leaned down and kissed me. Wow! What a surprise that was! In that One Single Kiss our lives were changed forever! He knew it and I knew it!

Since then, we have talked about the fact that he knew I was crazy about him, but I had no confirmation that he cared for me in any other way than as a sister. I knew that he was my very best friend. That I could talk to him about anything. Though he hated to talk on the phone, he would indulge me and talk more often than he cared to. By this time in our friendship, I believe I was the closest “girl” friend he had. He also had very few things he wouldn’t talk to me about. Still there were never any conversations about his feelings for me. He tells me now that he knew he had feelings for me before the night of the Fair, but he wasn’t ready to let me know. However, the conditions of holding my hand all night, endless waiting for rides, and the desire to kiss me were irresistible. He did wait a while into the evening because the life-altering question kept coming to mind, “Do you really want to commit to her?” Cecil knew, just as I did, that with that one kiss, we would be bonded together forever! I am so glad he chose to take that step of faith!

Yes! Cecil was right! It did change our lives forever! I would say that other than the decision to accept Jesus as my savior, the choice to love Cecil and to kiss him that night 34 years ago was the best decision I have ever made

One Single Kiss & 34 Years Later
He is My Best Friend
The Love of My Life!

 We have an amazing family after 30 wonderful years!

Living in Grace,


Biblical People and Turning Point Choices
Think about these things:
Were the events good or bad?
Were the choices good or bad?
What sort of outcome did these events and choices lead to?
Do I think about the choices I make and how they are impacting my life?

Adam & Eve-Genesis 3
Jonathan & David-I Samuel 20
Job-starts in Job 1 and continues
Daniel-Daniel 6
Judas-Matthew 26
Peter-Mark 14:66-72
Paul-Acts 9

These are just a few of the many, many examples in the Bible.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

“The Plans I Have For You”

Hello Friends,

In the past 2 weeks the subjects of life and death have been on my mind quite a bit. Two weeks ago I had some pains in my chest that scared me enough I went to the ER and had it checked out. All tests came back normal. Then last Saturday, a friend got up, and was getting ready for her day, when God called her home. It was a total shock to all who knew and loved her. Both of these events have had me reflecting on many things about life. What am I doing with my time here? Am I making the most of it? Am I taking advantage of the time I have with my family and friends? Am I following the dreams and plans God has set out for me? Most importantly, Am I making a difference for Jesus?

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (NIV)

God has a plan set for each one of us before we are ever born. Yes, I know we have a free will, and sometimes we don’t make choices in line with what God ultimately wants for our lives. But God does have a plan, and He knows what we CAN do with our lives and what we WILL do with our lives. Until we reach our eternal destination, we still have that free will to make changes, and follow the path God has planned for us. Granted, the impact we make for Jesus, and the joy we get from serving Him will probably be less than it would, had we followed Him all along, but the point is…Don’t waste one more minute of your life!!!

There are many reasons why we are not on the path God has chosen for us. Sometimes we are even following God, knowing that we have a particular desire and burden on our heart (calling you might say), but it doesn’t feel like anything is coming of it. My advice is keep following Him. There is a very good chance God is preparing you for something.

Indulge me, if you will, for just a minute as I try to briefly share with you about my friend Paula Hayes. Paula is the one I spoke of at the beginning who met Jesus face to face last Saturday morning. When Paula was 9 years old, she knew God was calling her to special service for Him. It was not until 2007 that she saw that dream/calling come to life. That was when Paula, along with others, founded Orphan Outreach. Orphan Outreach, according to their website, is a “non-profit organization dedicated to glorifying the Lord through reaching out to the millions of at risk children throughout the world.” (http://www.orphanoutreach.co/index.asp) I believe that in those years between her calling and the reality of Orphan Outreach, God was preparing Paula for this special service. In those years, Paula became a wife, mother, teacher, leader, administrator and so many other things that prepared her for her service with Orphans. Paula took several trips to serve these orphans, provide them with needed shoes or clothing, or to bring supplies to the orphanages themselves to help provide for the children. I remember her always looking forward to these trips with anticipation, knowing that what she and the group she was taking were making a difference in the lives of these children. I could go on and on about Paula and her love of God, her family and her service to the orphans around the world. But my point is not to fill the web with Paula’s story. It is to encourage you to seek God for YOUR calling and KNOW that you too, just like Paula, CAN make a difference, if you follow HIM!

Living in Grace,

Please take a look at the Orphan Outreach website to learn more about their service and Paula Hayes. There is a great article on the homepage in her memory.

Also a great reference for the journey of reaching the calling God has for you, is the book What Happens When Women Walk In Faith by Lysa TerkHurst. Available at Proverbs31 Bookstore  or your local Christian bookstore.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I Want Answers!

Hello Friends,

This morning as I went through my email, I found the “verse of the day” from a radio station I listen to. 

Psalm 143:8 (ESV)
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul

Then I looked it up and read it from several other versions. I like to do that, just to see how it looks from another perspective. This is how verses 7-10 read from The Message.

Hurry with your answer, God!
I’m nearly at the end of my rope.
Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!
That would be certain death.
If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice,
I’ll go to sleep each night trusting in you.
Point out the road I must travel;
I’m all ears, all eyes before you.
Save me from my enemies, God
you’re my only hope!
Teach me how to live to please you,
because you’re my God.
Lead me by your blessed Spirit
into cleared and level pastureland.

Just from those verses, it is obvious David is in distress and is begging God for answers. It is possible this is one of the times in David’s life when Saul is pursuing David, trying to kill him. 

After I read just these few verses, my curiosity got the best of me, and I had to read the entire chapter. It’s not long, 12 verses. Please take the time to read it, and read it in more than one version. I think it will give you a better feel for David’s angst. Then for, even while he is praying, how God comforts him, and reminds him of how God has always been there for David.

This passage was just what I needed today. I don’t know about you, but I have things I’ve been struggling with for a long time, and I hear myself saying to God, “Hurry up, answer me! Hasn’t this gone on long enough? I really need an answer here.”  As I read this Psalm, God was reminding me. “Angie, I am here every morning when you wake up. It’s my voice you hear. I am the one who allows you to sleep peacefully. I am guiding you. I am watching out for you. Just trust me.”

For many years, I have struggled with health issues, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It keeps me almost house-bound, at times. There are times I get very frustrated and wonder why God doesn’t make me better. But I know, He has a plan for me, while I’m home, in pain, unable to be doing what I think is important. So day by day, hour by hour, I am trying to follow David and Psalm 143. I want to remember who is always there for me, who has my path laid out for me, who is the one fighting for me…God! Why? Because I have committed my life to Him!

Living in Grace,