Jeff and the Ice Cream Cone

Jeff and the Ice Cream Cone

Jeff had just gotten his drivers license and decided he was going to drive down to the corner store and get an ice cream cone. His nephew Trey, who was about 3 or 4 years old at the time was visiting his Mamaw and Papaw so Jeff decided to ask the little fellow if he wanted an ice cream cone too. Trey who was preoccupied as little ones will be, told his Uncle Jeff, No, because as little ones will, he was focused on whatever he was doing at the time and didn’t want to stop doing that. 


So Jeff made his way up to the store and since the ice cream cones were 2 for a dollar Jeff thought “Why not?” and bought two. As he was driving back home he began to eat one of them and walking in the door of his home with two ice cream cones in his hands, Jeff nephew saw them both and asked for one. 


Jeff, thinking he would teach the child a lesson told him “No!” because after all, Jeff had asked him earlier and in Jeff’s mind the child should of said yes then and not waited till he got back home with one. Well, as little ones will. Trey began to cry and as Jeff tried to explain why he wasn’t going to share his ice cream cone with his little nephew. Jeff’s dad hearing his name sake, first born grandchild crying, came in from the other room to investigate the cause. 


When Jeff explained his side of the story, which didn’t hold up very well in grandparent court that day.  Jeff’s dad told Jeff to give Trey one of his ice cream cones. This did not make Jeff happy at all, so he offered Trey the half eaten ice cream cone. To which Jeff’s dad shook his head and said, no give him the uneaten one. This made Jeff even more anger so he slammed the whole ice cream cone down on the table making the cone crumbled and the whole thing landed on it’s side, on the table, which ensued louder and more hysterical crying from the child and a look from Jeff’s father that could kill. 


Jeff’s dad Trammell told him to go to his room where he would deal with him later. Jeff protesting the whole time did as his father asked and walked to his room. Upset at the injustice that had just happened in the room when his 16 yr old self was just trying to teach the spoiled grandchild a lesson. At least that is howJeff saw the situation that day. 


After Jeff’s dad had cooled off, and Trey had calmed down. Trammell came into Jeff’s room. Jeff was fulling expecting his father to give the corporal punishment he was use to in situations like this. In fact, Jeff says he even pondered how many pairs of underwear should he put on, to lesson the blow of the how situation could turn out. You know, kind of pad the consequences per say. 


But this time when Jeff’s down walked in to his room, it was different. He told Jeff who was now as tall as his father and weigh more than Trammell did. “Son, your getting to big for me to whip now, You know what you did is wrong,” Then Jeff’s dad added “ I think the best thing for you to do, is just kneel down here beside the bed and ask God to forgive you” 


Oh! Jeff says at that point all he could think about was he just wished his daddy would spank him! Anything but having to confuse his sin to God. 


Jeff was reminded of a valuable lesson that day James 4:17 says “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, to him it is sin” 


Jeff knew the right thing to do was to share. In his heart he knows the little kid didn’t really have the cognitive abilities to make that decision of not wanting to go with Uncle Jeff to get and ice cream cone, and would always choose an ice cream cone as soon as he saw it. In fact that might of been part of what made Jeff buy 2 ice cream cones that day. 


But the bottom line is, Jeff knew the right thing to do was to share, the right thing to do is to always care for those weaker than ourselves and bless those who can’t help themselves. 


During the holidays, sometimes this can be the hardest thing to do. Often times we might see people who haven’t given us the time of day the other 364 days of the year, but yet all of a sudden want to be friends with you this one day of the year. 


Our natural instinct might be to ignore them or avoid them, after all, one could think “If they don’t care about having anything to do with me the rest of the year, why should I have anything to do with them on this one day?” 


But is that really the right attitude to have? Again, we need to refer to James 4:17 I think this might have been the first verse I ever taught my children “He that knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, to him it is sin”. 


We often know the right thing to do but our want to, is often lacking. Jeff knew he needed to share, but he wanted to make a point to his little nephew and his opinion of what needed to be done, superseded what he knew was right at the time which caused his father to have to bring his attention back to the right thing, and that is what would Jesus do. 


Isn’t Trey a lot like us though, how many times has God called us and wanted to give us a good gift, but because we are to busy doing our own thing, we push Him aside in essence telling Him. No! Only to realize we had made a mistake and we wanted what He had. 


Luckily it is never too late for us to get on our knees and ask God to forgive us and tell Him we want what He has offered us. God isn’t as petty as we are and although we may reject Him all year long He is always waiting with outstretched arms to welcome us home. He loves us and wants to forgive us of anything we have done. 

But just like the scene around the table at Jeff’s parent’s home. Our life can be chaos until we decide to do what we know is right to do. 


God’s word says “If we will confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9. It is only when we confess and decide to walk in God’s will that He will walk with us and help us in the chaotic times of life. 

Jeff and the Pink Tutu

Jeff and the Pink Tutu

When our kids were little our Christmas tradition was for Jeff to wake up our children in a Santa Clause suit. It was one my mother made for Jeff when our oldest was just about 3 yrs old. So until all three of our kids went to college, this was the routine on Christmas morning.

Santa would go from room to room, waking the kids up, then like the pid piper, we would all follow him down the hall to the living room where we would all gather around the tree for Santa to read the real Christmas Story out of the bible, we would then sing Happy Birthday to Jesus usually around some sort of cake with a candle. Then Santa would hand out the gifts and leave, shortly after Jeff would come into the room and tell the kids, rubbing his eyes as if he had just woke up saying “Why are you all making all this noise you woke me up!” 


Because of this happening we never had to have “the talk” with our kids about who Santa really was. Our kids just figured it out, that Daddy is Santa. 


Amy must have been about 7-8 yrs old when she came to me one day and said “Okay mom!, I know who Santa Clause is and I know who the Easter Bunny is, But who is the tooth fairy?” When I just gave her that look that said “Hello!, It’s the same person silly” To which she responded in shock “You mean Daddy” To which all I could picture in my mind at that very moment was what it would of been like, if my husband had asked my mother to make him a tooth fairy costume instead of a Santa Clause suit. The image of my 6’3” 300 pound husband in a pink tutu, sneaking into the kids room at night to retrieve the tooth under their pillow,  flashed before my eyes and I just blurted out “And you should see him in his Pink Tutu”  


You know, in this life there will be a lot of things we don’t understand. Life rarely happens as we plan it, but it is the mature Christian who, in whatever circumstance they are in and says “I trust you Lord!” 


Proverbs 3:5 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” 


Part of submitting our lives to Christ is realizing that we don’t always understand why things happen nor will we always like what happens in this life. But the truth is, whether we choose to submit our life to Christ or not. There will always be something that happens in this life, we don’t like or understand. The question is “What will we do when those times come?”


Will we react like a 2 year old who doesn’t get her way, by throwing ourselves on the floor and kicking and stomping our feet or will we realize that in this life hard times will come, bad things happen and when we feel overwhelmed and frustrated and yes, even mad. We can lean on Christ, Trusting Him. Because He also tells us in Romans 8:28 it tells us “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”


Did you know we all have a purpose? God designed every one of us with a purpose and a plan for our life and the first plan He has for all of us. The one thing God is more concerned about more than anything else is our character. He is less concerned about our comfort and more concerned about our character. He so desires a relationship with us, that He will do whatever it takes to pursue us so we will acknowledge His existence. 


Maybe you’re like Amy was,  and you just don’t understand everything that has happened and where it all comes from. Maybe you have been looking for some mystical character to come and rescue you from all your problems. But the truth is there is no magical character that is going to take away all your problems. Christ even told us in His word, “In this world, you will have troubles, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16)


Just like my kids looked forward to Santa waking them up each Christmas morning, We need to look to our Heavenly Father when troubles come and bad things happen we need to run to our Heavenly Father and know that we may not understand now what is going on. But we can trust that nothing that happens to us, has not already when through the hands of the heavenly Father and He is prepared for whatever comes our way, He will find a way to bring good out of bad if we will keep focused on Him. 


Just like when Peter stepped out of the boat on to the water, as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. He was walking on water, but when he started focusing on the storm and the waves around Him. It was then He begin to sink. When we keep our eyes on the Father, nothing is impossible. We can defy all odds of what the world says will happen. But the choice is up to us. 


Will you focus on what you don’t have, or didn’t get? Will you be negative and depressed on this most joyous of seasons? This is the day we celebrate the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! This is the day we honor the son of God who gave up His home in Heaven to come to earth because man had done the unthinkable and separated himself from God by choosing to do what He wanted instead of following the plan God had laid out when He created him. 


That battle goes on today… We can choose to live our life for ourselves and how we think it is best, or we can choose to follow the creator of the universe and trust Him. 

God Knows What We Need Before He Even Asks Us!  (the story of our camper)

God Knows What We Need Before He Even Asks Us! (the story of our camper)

Last week we talked about how God’s word says He knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him!” (Matthew 6:8)  I also shared how deciding to become US Missionaries we were thanking God everyday, for several things. 


Most important thing for us is that our budget needs to be raised before March and it typically takes 2yrs for the average missionary to raise their budget but we need to do it in 6 months.. Just as any missionary, we have to raise our funds to live on. This includes traveling and administrative fees as well as an income for living expenses. All this is going to require about 100-150 of our friends to donate about $50 a month to us and we are asking them to commit to at least two years if possible for us to get started. 


Being fully supported we will be able to help connect Churches with needs to other churches who might not have the resources or abilities to accomplish those needs. We’re doing this because we believe the local church is still the plan to reach the lost in America and there is nothing like the local church when the local church works. Without a doubt we believe that everything that has happened in our lives have led us to this moment in ministry.


However there were 4 other specific things we begin believing for God to provide us with as well. We know God has to do all of this, because this is His ministry and if He wants to see it go forth, It is only going to happen with His help! 


The first thing we were believing for was a home in Tulsa, so we would have a place to live during the week when we aren’t traveling.  I told you last week, how miraculously God provided that for us. You can go to if you missed it. 


Second was a newer to us vehicle because, short of a miracle,  the present one, will not make it, because of all the miles we will be traveling on weekends. 

Thirdly, a Travel Trailer or Camper of some sort, We know there will be sometimes when we have to go to places for extended periods of time to minister and often churches won’t have funds to put us up in a motel. So we need something we can stay in. 


Fourthly, a Truck to pull the Travel Trailer with,  because Jeff’s truck is on it’s last leg but very sentimental to Jeff because it is the last thing Jeff’s dad ever gave him before he passed away.


For the last 3 months since we have known about this move, we have just simply been thanking God everyday for Him providing for us with what we needed and after we were given a place to live earlier in November, let me tell you what happened Thanksgiving week. I got a text from a friend. In the text it said “I think I have a camper that will work for you, it’s 25 ft lite model with new tires, I have done a lot of work on it” 


Then the next text from her was asking us if we wanted to come over and look at it. After setting up a time, Jeff and I made our way to her house and couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw it. It was everything we were praying for. She had even gone in and remodeled it just the way I had been dreaming about doing to one, if we ever got one and she had reupholstered the cushions in my favorite color, Blue! 


We couldn’t believe it, I was in shock, But I still wanted to confirm exactly what was happening so I asked “How much do you want for it?” To which she responded “Nothing, this thing has sat here for a year and a half I have never taken it out camping, I have only used it to camp here in the yard with my grandkids and it needs to be out doing ministry”


Wow! Jeff and I were just blown away! I mean how awesome is God! It just goes to prove, that God not only knows what we need before we ask Him anything, but it goes to show, that He knows what we need before He asks us. to do anything! 


God knew we were going to need all these things, and He knew how He was going to provide it. It was with the help of just ordinary people who live ordinary lives trusting God everyday for what we have,  because we know it is all God’s anyhow!


After all this happened, I was talking to our oldest son and sharing with him the exciting news of the house and the camper. I told him “I just can’t believe what God is doing” To which our oldest responded “Mom, I don’t know what this is such a big deal to you” He added “This isn’t the first time you have stepped out in faith and God provided for you” 


He just said it so matter of factly, it took me back. First it made me grateful that I had raised a boy with so much faith. But it also made me reflect on why he had that faith. In part I believe, It is because Lee has seen us pick up and move our family of 5 to a town where we didn’t know anyone, to plant a church in a town we had never lived. He saw God provide then, time and time again. Even the bank gave us a loan for a house before Jeff had even started a job. 


I can think of countless other times, where God has showed up and Lee saw the miracles He performed in our lives. The fact is when God wants us to do something He makes a way. But He expects us to take the first step. It wasn’t until Jeff and I stepped out in faith and told people we were becoming US Missionaries that He begin to provide. 


The question God is asking all of us today is “Do you trust me?? So let me ask you this question “Do you trust Him?”  What has God asked you to do, that may seem impossible and there is no way you can do it? I believe God is asking you like He did Jeff and I to step out in faith and just do it. 


Just like Jeff and I, until we stepped out in faith God didn’t meet our needs. We can read in the bible and find the same scenario time and time again! First people did what God told them to do then, God provided. 


Often people will say “But Alesa, how do I know it’s God talking to me?” Well, first off a thought or idea will come to you and won’t leave you alone. Secondly, we know the only other ways thoughts come to us is through, the devil or ourselves and let me tell your right now,  If it’s a good deed, or anything to do with promoting the mission of God, it isn’t the devil talking and if it has anything to do with giving or doing something you have never done before that will probably cost you something or it scares you, It isn’t you. 


Because God is ultimately asking “Do you trust me?” That is what faith is, the bible says That faith is the assurance of what we can’t see so faith requires trust. God knows what we need before we ask or and He knows what we need before He asks us. We can trust Him. 

Thanksgiving needs to be Thanksliving (the story of our Tulsa Home)

Thanksgiving needs to be Thanksliving (the story of our Tulsa Home)

Well, by the time most of you read this article, the Turkey and dressing will be a distant memory along with the chaos of Thanksgiving and you are probably beginning to plan for what Christmas activities you will be having  with your family and friends. 


For us this year it was a little discombobulated, as it wasn’t possible to get all the family together at one time with the kids different schedules. So Jeff and I split our time and one week headed to Oklahoma with our son and his family,  to celebrate and then planned on being at home for the actual holiday with our younger two children. 


It was fun to see the family in Oklahoma with our 3 grands. One of the most special moments was when we sat around the table and before we begin to eat our oldest son,  continued on the tradition that our family has which is, starting with the youngest and going around the table saying what we are thankful for. 


I tell you there was nothing that made this Mimi’s heart happier than when our youngest grandchild who is 3 yrs old,  said without hesitation when asked what he was thankful for?, said “God” now normally at our house, we don’t allow you to say just God, because we tell everyone we expect that, we want more details of what God has done for you. But since this was not my house, and our grandson is so cute and only 3yrs old. I didn’t mind.  I mean after all, that kind of says it all doesn’t it?  


Everything we have is God’s.  We don’t own anything and we have nothing without God. That is becoming ever more real to Jeff and I as we begin to prepare to become missionaries.


We resolved before making this commitment, we would probably have to give away most of our things and would have very little. But we also realized that if we were going to travel the country for God. There was going to be a few things that we know we were going to need and He was the only one that was going to be able to provide them. 


So we just began to pray and thank God everyday for our budget to be raised.  Traveling and administrative fees as well as an income for living expenses is going to require about 100-150 of our friends to donate about $50 a month to us and we are asking them to commit to at least two years if possible for us to get started. So we can go around connecting people in churches with needs of other churches who might not have the resources or abilities to accomplish the Lord’s work . 


But there were 4 other specific things we begin believing for God to provide us with as well. First was a home in Tulsa so we would have a place to live during the week when we aren’t traveling on weekends. 


Second was a newer to us vehicle because, short of a miracle,  the present one, will not make it, because of all the miles we will be traveling on weekends. 

Thirdly, a Travel Trailer or camper of some sort, We know there will be sometimes when we have to go to places for extended periods of time to minister and often churches won’t have funds to put us up in a motel. So we need something we can stay in. 


Fourthly, a Truck to pull the Travel Trailer with because Jeff’s truck is on it’s last leg but very sentimental to Jeff because it is the last thing Jeff’s dad ever gave him before he passed away. 


Knowing all these needs could seem a little daunting but honestly we have just been thanking God everyday for providing these needs for us, because He knows the needs. He knew the needs before He asked us to do this  work because He sees our tomorrow. The bible says in Matthew 6:8 “your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” 


Well, you know what else it should say? It should say “He knows what we will need before HE even asks us to do something” 


None of our needs came as a surprise to God, it wasn’t like He was sitting up in Heaven thinking “Oh! I should ask Jeff and Alesa to do this” and then when He asks suddenly realize we were going to need a budget and supplies to do it. No! 


He sees our tomorrows before we even get there and before He asks us to do anything. So that is why we have been trusting God for what we need and thanking Him for it before we even see it or get it. 


About 3 weeks ago, I got a call from a friend in Tulsa who asked had we found a house yet? When I responded no, she began to tell me that she and her husband have a rental house that  need some work, and with her husbands work schedule and recent stroke, he hasn’t been able to get the work done, but if we were willing to do the work, they would pay for the materials and let us live in it as long as we wanted for free. 


Well, with Jeff’s background in construction that didn’t seem to be a problem except for the time it was going to take to do it. We didn’t want it to interfere with us getting on the road to minister. But as we begin to tell the story to some other friends we have in Oklahoma, they begin to say “Hey let us know and we will come help you?” One even said “I’ve got a couple of friends and we will just come up there for a couple weeks and knock it out for you” 


Wow! What an answer to prayer!! We didn’t have to beg God, we just simply thanked Him for providing what His word already says He will do for us. “ My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory” Phil 419 So we now have a home! #1 need checked off the list! Thank you God! 


Now the question is, what do you have need of today? What has God called you to do that seems impossible to you? Do your realize there is nothing impossible with God? Do you know that if you believe in and trust in and rely on God that He says He will provide what you have need of? Maybe you have been thinking about helping support our ministry or another one but you think there is no way with your budget that you can do it. Do you know God saw that already and He is the one that has put that desire in your heart? You may not be able to travel and help other ministries but you can be the conduit to get us or another ministry to fulfill what God has called them to do.. 


I believe not matter what God is calling you to do, if it is helping a stranger pay their grocery bill at the check out or making a donation to a ministry God is the one who will provide that if you step out in faith and commit to doing it for God. 


Maybe your thinking, well how do I know it’s God? Maybe it’s the devil or maybe it’s just me?

Trust me the devil is never going to tell you to do anything for God and frankly, the very fact that you are even considering doing something that you don’t have the budget for isn’t something that come naturally. It is only through a propromting of the Holy Spirit that things like that happen and God is say “Do you trust me?”  So I guess the question is “Do you?”


We didn’t have a home given to us, before we stepped out in faith and announced we were going into missions, we didn’t have any budget raised before we stepped out in faith and said we will do it. (we still have more to raise but at least it we have more now than when we started)


We stepped out and God is providing every stepping stone we need to fulfill his work. So, What will you step out in faith and believe God for today? 


Whatever it is, don’t forget there is no need to beg and ball and squall asking God in fear. Simply Thank Him, Thank Him  that His word says He will provide and then trust Him to do it. 


Buying our First Home

Buying our First Home

My daddy was a preacher and because of that, we moved quite a lot and because we moved a lot that means I went to a lot of different schools, 9 to be exact out of 12 yrs. But along with going to a lot of schools, I also lived in a lot of homes and out of the 17 and half yrs I lived at home, only one of those homes my parents owned, the rest were parsonages.(A home provided by the church for the minister)   So needless to say all I ever wanted in life was a home that I owned. 


So imagine my excitement when Jeff and I were approved for our first home loan and we found a home we fell in love with. The only problem was the house we loved was appraised for about $5,000 more dollars than what we were approved for and although the homeowner had told the realtor to go ahead and sell us the house for what we could afford. The realtor was determined to try and get more money for it. So, while our paperwork was going forward she was still showing the house to other potential buyers. 


When I found this out I informed that agent under no uncertain terms that “You can show that house all you want but I know God has given us that house so you are just wasting your time” 


You might say “How do you know that, Alesa?” and I would tell you, that I know that because there were confirmation after confirmation of things that I prayed for that God gave me in that house. The first one was, I prayed that God would give us a house where all the woodwork was stained except for the kitchen and Amy’s bedroom. Secondly, I wanted white woodwork in those rooms, this home had all that. 


Also, Jeff didn’t even have a job at the time, we were in the process of moving to Kansas City area to plant a church and Jeff only had a promise of a job, he hadn’t even started working yet. Yet, we were approved for a loan. I wanted white kitchen cabinets, tall ceilings, and a house with a history. This home had all that. 


So I knew in my heart God had given us this house. The day came when we closed on the house and we had our final walk thru with the realtor before getting the keys. 


As we looked over the house one last time the realtor told me “Alesa you were right, God has given you this house” She went on to tell the story of a woman who she had showed the house to and the lady was ready to buy it, had the money and everything but when she went home and told her husband, he said “You can buy it but I am not moving”


The realtor confessed she had tried her hardest to sell that house to someone else to make more money but everytime she did it fell through. 


You may be thinking I wish God would answer my prayers like that. You maybe wondering how did you know Alesa? How can you be that confident? 


And I would have to tell you, because I have a personal relationship with God. He isn’t the friend I just talk to once a week. He isn’t the person I call only when I’m in trouble. I know Him through reading His words in the bible and constant communication with Him and He knows me because He created me. 


He also knows that I am willing to follow His plan even when it isn’t want I want. 


You see I never wanted to be married to someone who served in the military and I never wanted to be married to a pastor.  Not because I didn’t think those jobs were admirable or I didn’t appreciate what those people do, I just didn’t think either of them made enough money for me and I wanted more than what those salaries could provide but yet when God called Jeff into the ministry, and the military, I knew that it wasn’t about what I wanted anymore but it was about God’s will and following the plan He had for our lives. 


So I gave up my dreams my plans and we follow God’s. That’s what I really think having a relationship with Jesus Christ is all about, No longer following what you want but following what His will is for us and as Rick Warren’s famous quote says “It’s not about me” 


When you have that kind of relationship with the creator of the universe you can know what His will is for your life, because when you’re willing to give up your will, desires and ways of how you think things should go. Then God will know He can trust you enough to tell you His innermost secrets and the direction that He has for your life


Now does that mean I always get what I want No! Does that mean I am always certain of what to do, no!


But I have learned when I sense my life is about to change and God is up to something I continue to keep doing the last thing He told me to do until I see the next open door. 


That’s called faith It’s called trusting God no matter what it looks like ahead and following the plan He has for me. 


The bible says “Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists” Hebrews 11:1

I was telling this to our son Chad the other day. He has been sensing a change coming in his life and he is uncertain of what to do at the end of this semester. I reminded him, When following Christ He usually only gives us one step at a time. So we just do that last thing He told us to do until we get new directions. 


We can’t get so focused on looking ahead that we forget the task at hand but at the same time we must always be listening to the direction of the Holy Spirit that is living inside of us if we have given our lives to God. 


The question today is who are you following? Are you following your will and your way or have you totally submitted your life to Christ? Is there something that God has told you to do and you haven’t? Are you listening for His call on the next step He desires you to take? When He does speak to you , are you willing to move no matter what He tells you to do?


God is looking for people who are willing to follow after Him no matter what the cost. No matter has scary or crazy it may look. You see what I didn’t tell you in that house buying story Is that Jeff and I were moving to Kansas City area to plant a church and we didn’t have any other contacts in that area but us,  we started that little church with the five members of our family and it grew to 50 in just a year’s time. We stepped out in faith to follow what God has called us to do. 


When other church planters had churches coming alongside them and helping them, partnering with them and even sending some of their congregations to help them. 


It was just Jeff and I and our kids. What the old school preachers would call pioneering a church with no help from anybody else but God, and you know what we found in that season of life God is all we need and He’s all you need too.  Alesa Lewis Miller is the Pastor’s wife of Lighthouse Worship Center, Greensburg Kansas, Mom, Mimi, Speaker, & Columnist. Find more of her stories at


Jeff and The Lawnmower

Jeff and The Lawnmower

When Jeff was a kid he loved to tear things apart, just to see how they worked. Oh! It didn’t have to be broken for Jeff to want to dive into it and tear it apart. It just needed to have moving parts that got his inquisitive mind working. 


Honestly, that is why he is so good at repairing and building things today. Because he took everything he could get his hands on apart as a kid. Sometimes even destroying it. But more than likely his exploring of how things worked and attempting to put it back together again often let to great success. Jeff is an amazing man who just has the ability to see something and is able to either build it or repair it. But his ability didn’t come without some challenges. 


Jeff must of been about 11 years old when his dad pulled up in the driveway with a brand new Dynamark lawn mower from Lowes, in the back of his truck. As Jeff’s dad pulled it out of the truck bed and onto the carport,Jeff  was standing there all, starry eyed, looking on. His father told him “Jeff there is nothing wrong with this lawn mower, so I don’t want you to put a screwdriver, a pair of pliers or a socket set on it, do you understand?” Then as Jeff’s dad walked away. He told Jeff “Don’t you forget what I told you son” looking sternly in Jeffrey’s eyes and pointing his finger at him. 


As Jeff’s dad drove away, Jeff just couldn’t stop thinking about the shiny new lawnmower in the carport. It didn’t take long for Jeff to begin to think “Hmm…??  that lawnmower has lights on it, I wonder how those lights work?” So Jeff being the inquisitive young man he was, decided to go out and investigate just how those lights worked. 


Sometime later Jeff’s dad returned from the errand he had been on and drove back into the driveway only to see his brand new lawn mower’s lights laying on the floor of the carport with the hood up of the mower up and Jeff right in the middle of it all, Trammel, Jeff’s dad barely got the truck stopped before he jumped out and headed straight to Jeffrey and the lawn mower. Needless to say, his dad was not happy! 


Stomping over to Jeff, his dad said “Boy! What did I tell you? ” To which Jeff proudly replied with the most honest, innocent straight face, remembering every word his dad had said  “Daddy, you told me not to put a screwdriver, a pair of pliers or a socket set on it, but you didn’t say nothing about a crescent wrench”


 I will let you guess what happened next but I think it goes without saying there was some major punishment involved.


You know a lot of us are like Jeff was on that day as a little boy, in our walk with our Heavenly Father we want to live right on the edge, following the letter of the law instead of the spirit of the law.


In 2 Cor 3:6 Paul told the church He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”  What Paul is saying here is, there were some ministers who were living only by Moses law but the Holy Spirit had come and therefore there needed to be some grace added to their preaching as well. The truth is they were living by the letter of the law and not by the spirit in which it was intended when it was written. 


For instance the Ten Commandments says “Thou shall not Kill” and while it is wrong to kill someone out of malice. It is okay to protect ourselves, but at the same time we kill people with our words everyday.  Does that make it okay because we didn’t take their life? No!


Much like, Jeff who was following the letter of the law His father had told him but in that, He totally missed the point in what his daddy was trying to teach him.Trammel had said
“I don’t want you to put a screwdriver, a pair of pliers or a socket set on it” 


Did that mean it was okay for Jeff to take the lights apart with a crescent wrench? No! And there was a consequence for the choices Jeff made. That is a lot like life we live. When we try to live by the letter of the law instead of the spirit of which the laws were written for, there is usually a consequence to pay if we choose to push the limits of the laws that were written. 


For instance, it is legal to drink and even the bible says, Proverbs 23:20  Don’t drink too much wine and get drunk; don’t eat too much food and get fat. But it is so much more socially acceptable for people to be overweight than it is to be drunk. Yet both have consequences to deal with.


How about this week, we not try to skid by and just do the bare minimum or get over on someone because technically we can. Let’s live a life that is honorable before God and pleasing to Him. Because if we due,  the bible promises there will be a more rewards than consequences.  


Spirit Lead Me

Spirit Lead Me

One of the very first memories I have of attending a community event in Greensburg KS was hearing the school choir/ talent night at the High School, a young girl got up and sung,  Oceans by Hillsong. It was a new song to me but the words stuck in my head for days. 

That night, something was changed, in me and looking back, it was the beginning of something that would dramatically change my life through out the next 6 and a half years later.  The chorus to the song continued to run through my mind “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, Let me walk upon the waters, Wherever You would call me, Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith be made stronger, In the presence of my Savior.”

For the next 6 years, I believe God was personally challenging me to begin to step out in faith and trust Him more. You might not realize this but I have suffered from a lot of anxiety and depression and most of it has stemmed from previous ministries experiences I have had, either as a Pastor’s wife, or Preachers daughter.  In many of those experiences I was made to feel less than capable, less that good enough, So coming to Greensburg and stepping into being a Pastor’s wife one more time was quite the step of faith for me. 

When you live in the proverbial fish bowl called the parsonage, you never really feel like your life is our own and being in a small town, where I felt like every time I walked outside my door people were looking out their window watching my every move did not help. (and trust me I know it happened when one of my neighbors told me they saw me walked out to my car in my PJ’s to get something one day) 

Nor did it help that when I walked into public places and people stared me down, looking me up and down as if to say “Who are you and what are you doing here?” As if I was not worthy to be in there town because they didn’t know who I was or where I was from. 

All that simply pushed me into an even more secluded lifestyle than I had previous had in the City, living in Kansas City it never bother me to go out and about, because people in the city could care less if you walk outside in your yard on your PJ’s. But in Greensburg every eye was on me when I went outside and I felt it.  

Looking back, I took the first step onto the water of faith by starting to write a religious column for the paper.  It was easy, I could express my faith, click send on my computer and WA-LAA! A few days later it magically appeared in the paper. I did that for about 2 yrs when one day magically an email came back to me from someone I had never met before, at the same address I had been sending those columns to, the email asked “ Would you be interested in a job?”  

Days later, I will never forget as I got off the phone with the editor telling her I had made my decision to write for the Kiowa County Signal. I pointed my finger to the heaven’s and told God “I know what your trying to do here and I don’t like it!” 

See what He was doing was “ Letting me walk upon the waters, Where He had called me, Taking me deeper than my feet could ever wander,  And I knew that my faith would be made stronger, In the presence of my Savior.” 

If you had ever asked me if I would be writing for a paper. I would have laughed in your face. But God asked me to step onto waters where I had never been before,  I had no education, no degree to do it, I was totally unprepared, except for God, who gave me the gift of gab and the ability to put that on paper.I knew God would go with me. 

These last few years writing articles about this community for the paper has done more for me personally and spiritually than anyone could ever know. It has stretched my faith, it has helped me to build relationships and get to know this community that I have now fallen in love with.

Before writing for the paper, I got out of my house maybe 2 days a week, I literally planned all my errands around Sunday and Wednesday so I didn’t have to leave the house and see anyone, just to assure, I wouldn’t get to many of  those weird looks when I walked into places. I wouldn’t feel that feeling that I wasn’t good enough to be here because people didn’t know who I was. 

You see those first few interactions I had with the community had so fed into the anxiety and issues I had dealt with in past ministry experiences all my life, that I allowed it to isolate me and that is exactly what satan wanted me to do! 

I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone, which was the four walls of my house, but that email that ultimately led to a phone call, that opened the door for me to write for the paper, was just a confirmation of what God had been telling me and that was “Get out in the community!” That email led me to meeting so many people and gave me an open door where even being a pastor’s wife in town could not. 

We read in Exodus when God called Moses to free the Israelite and Moses asks God “Who am I to do that?” then God responds “I will go with you” confirming what was written in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” 

I don’t know what fear is holding you back from doing but I will tell you, that God has a plan for you and no matter what He asks you to do. He will go with you. Don’t allow fear to hold you back because you have never done what God has asked you to do before.

That song is about Peter who standing in a boat on the sea,he asked Jesus to allow him to walk on the water to him. Peter chooses to take a step of faith and walk on the water to Jesus, 

Peter’s step of faith was bigger than the step he took on the water, before he fell in. See Christ was with Him and He picked him up and Christ ultimately let Peter, to go on to share the good news of Jesus to the gentiles,  something I am sure he never thought he would do as a Jew. 

In this life, we only have two choices to live for ourselves or live for Christ. The question is who are you following?

Will you honestly ask “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, Let me walk upon the waters, Wherever You would call me, Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith be made stronger, In the presence of my Savior.” and be willing to follow?

Reverse Psychology

Reverse Psychology

When Jeff and I were first married, he was in the military and about 4 years later he went into the ministry. I was raised in a ministers home and let’s face it living in a minister’s home could be considered, like living in a fishbowl.  But yet when you know that there is nothing else you can do because God has so lined up your life to place you and your family in that profession. You either surrender or live a life unfulfilled and miserable. 


In fact,  I would say Jeff and I were set up, or more like pushed into a corner to go into the ministry. You see Jeff had been out of work for 6 months and one day when Jeff was asking God to give us a job. God reminded Jeff “I already gave you a job when you were 12 yrs old at a youth camp I called you into the ministry”


The problem was, God also gave Jeff amazing engineering mind, and as many may know, there isn’t much Jeff can’t build or repair. He is amazingly talented and for many years those abilities has supplemented our minister’s income allowing us to minister where many couldn’t because they would need to make more money. 


So I have had a running joke for about 36 years now and it goes something like this. “There are two things I said I never wanted to be the first one, was a military personal wife, and the second was a preacher’s wife, So now I am telling God I never want to go to Hawaii, and hoping I can use reverse psychology on Him” 


This joke usually gets a good laugh because we all know the old saying “Man makes plans and God laughs” The truth is, we all know that it doesn’t matter what we want, if we truly want to follow God’s plan for our lives we have to submit our will to Him and there is no reverse psychology going to work on the Creator of the Universe, ever! The bible tells us that “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21NIV


There was one other thing though,  I have whispered in my heart, that I never wanted to be, and that was a missionary.  Despite the fact that Jeff tried to stand at every church conference we ever attended, when they asked all the missionaries to stand. His reasoning of why he was standing when,  I would jerk on the hem of his suit coat to sit down was “Well I am a missionary from Alabama to Kansas” I would just roll my eyes and tell him “That isn’t what they are talking about, now sit down” in my mean momma voice, as I tried to hide my head of embarrassment.  


You see I never said I didn’t want to be a missionary’s wife out loud,  because by the time I decided this I had already realized that if I say I am NOT going to do something out loud, God will hear it and make me do it anyway! At least that has been my experience up to this point in my life as you can judge from my other protests above,  so I was of course just going to think it and it wouldn’t really count. Would it??


Then Jeff was elected by the other pastors in the state of Kansas to serve on the Kansas Assemblies of God board of directors we call Presbyters. In this position, he traveled all over the state assisting some of the smallest churches in Kansas with whatever he could do in various areas, all while still serving our church here in Greensburg. Our hearts broke as we felt helpless in some situations by the needs they had. 


Because we believe there is nothing like the local church when the local church works, the problem was some of our Kansas churches aren’t working to their full potential because of various, needs they have, from building repairs to ministry worker needed. 


So Jeff approached the Pastor over all the Assembly of God pastors in the state of Kansas and asked “What about making a special position for this ministry need?”, only to find out there was no budget for it. Disappointed he walked away wondering why God put this desire in his heart if He wasn’t going to help Jeff fulfill it? 


Several months later through a series of events, Jeff was asked to be a speaker at one of our Kansas Family camps. Where he met Billy Thomas another speaker, Billy and Jeff hit it off right away,  because Billy previously pastored in Georgia and was born and raised in De Soto KS where we previously lived before moving to Greensburg. Billy didn’t talk that much about his position in the Assemblies of God except for the fact that he was the director for the US MAPS Department but we didn’t really know what that met,  and at camp were weren’t talking much about that. Except for the fact that Billy wanted Jeff to have him out to our church to preach.


Jeff said he would see what he could do, but honestly inside he brushed it off, because frankly our church is small and we didn’t want to have him out unless we knew we could give a good offering because we know how hard these missionaries work. 


Then, fast forward even more months later, and because Jeff served on the board of directors, he was asked to attend a meeting in Springfield where the Assemblies National offices are and guess who Jeff saw again? You guest it! Billy Thomas and guess what the first thing Billy asked Jeff “When are you going to have me out to preach? Well, backed into a corner again, Jeff books him for a service. 


So Jeff decided he wanted to have Billy over to the house for dinner the night before he spoke and invited anyone in the church to join us so they could get to know what kind of ministry he does. As Billy talked, He shared that he oversees all the RV Volunteers and Church teams who help do physical labor of work on churches as well as Missionary Associates who are people who serve in non pastoral ministries in the church, like children workers, tech teams, etc.. He also added that he needed a Field Director for Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico to help oversee all those ministries in those states and the director would need to have Heating and Air Conditioning, Construction, Electrical, Plumbing experience, and it would be good if he has been a church planter and pastor. 

Jeff and I looked at each other and knew this was the mission that God has been leading us too! Because what Billy said was like reading Jeff’s resume he has all the qualifications for it and the more Billy talked the more we realized it was the exact job that we saw was needed here in Kansas.. 


That is why Sunday Oct 27 Jeff told our congregation, we are becoming US Missionaries with the MAPS Department of the Assemblies of God. Our last Sunday in Greensburg will be March 15 and we will be moving in April to Tulsa Oklahoma where we will be centrally located as Field Directors for Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, we will be traveling about 40 weekends out of the year to churches all over these states, in order to connect people who can help, with those that need help. Jeff will be overseeing the construction of two churches in Kansas this next year. 


And we are on a new adventure with God, and Yes, I am now a Missionaries wife! Something that I had only spoken in my heart that I didn’t want to be, but the truth is God knows our every thought and hears our every prayer and He isn’t doing this to punish me, because the desire He put in our hearts would not allow us to do anything else but this. We are extremely excited about our new adventure.


The most challenging part is that we now have to raise our own budget for our living and ministry expenses and that only comes from donations from friends and churches that are willing to step out in faith with us and help the local church be the best it can be. So check out and see everything we will be up to and don’t forget Whatever you have planned, God’s plan is best so just follow it,  because reverse psychology never works on God!

Two All Beef Patties Special Sauce…

“Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun.”  Was the lyrics of the McDonald’s franchise commercial song for many years as well as their famous Big Mac recipe. Another famous jingle was “Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce special orders don’t upset us all we ask is that you let us serve it your way!  Have it your way at Burger King, Have it your way at Burger King!”


The two commercial Jingles that are years old contradicted each other specifically because one was telling you what you were getting on their sandwich, while the other was telling you “You can have whatever you want if you come eat at our restaurant” 


While McDonald’s was known for its fast customer service and strategic and concise drive thru abilities when it first opened up. It was doing fast food like no one else ever had before. It seemed to be the best business plan on the market. Because everything happened the same way and the speed was possible because there were no changes to the orders.  


Then Burger King came on the market and started telling customers “We will give you whatever you want,  you can have it your way” and customers loved it because, let’s face it, there isn’t a whole lot of people that want to be told what to do,  let alone what to eat.”After all don’t we all prefer to make our own choices and do things the way we think they should be done?


 Its is part of the free will that God gave us. When He created us, He created us with a free will to choose for ourselves. He could have created us like every other creation He made, that must follow all of His commands without their own will. But God gave us His creation made in the image of Him a choice. That is why we feel most of the time we are the experts in our opinions. 


I am reminded of a verse in the Bible that gives us a choice. Deut. 30:19 NLT “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses.” but then He goes on to tell us “Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” 


God tells us to choose life, He gives us a choice but then He gives us the answer to the test. He wants the best for us and He has a plan, and as bad as we want to do things on our own. He knows what the future holds so it is wise to listen to Him. 


Just like McDonalds who’s tried and true tested system of fast food management. God’s reach is bigger than any fast food venture. God wants the best for us. But He knows in this life there is going to be temptations to not do the right thing. He knows there is evil in this world and we have a choice to follow what He wants us to do or what the devil wants us to do everyday. As this world continues to go those lines are often not as clear to someone who is not as educated in God’s word as they could be. 


So God tells us to choose life. So what does life look like to you and to me? Is it living up the life we want,  doing whatever we want, when we want as long as we aren’t hurting others? I believe God has carved out a path for us in His words with guidelines and directions if we will choose to follow it.  James 1:22 ESV tells us to “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  See there is going to be plenty of people who heard the words of God they may be attenders every week to the church and sit in the pew, but they are only hearers of the word. They are religious without any relationship with the father. They have a list of the do’s and don’ts and if you cross one of those don’ts they decide you aren’t worthy of their friendship or love. They cast you aside and make you feel like you aren’t worthy of their presence let alone God’s. 


That is a hearer of the word is a person who is just checking off the to-do- list, without any relationship with Jesus Christ. Maybe you have encountered someone like that, who made you feel bad about something you did or believed. The truth is a real follower of Christ can love someone who isn’t like them or doesn’t agree with everything you believe or do and can still love you right where you are. A real follower of Christ understands that you can love someone who is different and doesn’t believe in the God you believe in and that doesn’t mean you condone what they do or agree with it just simply means you are treating them like Jesus would. 


Not every person believed in Christ when Jesus walked the earth, and yet Jesus walked with them day after day. The Bible says Jesus hung out with the drunkards so much the Pharisees called Him a drunkard. So don’t tell me “You don’t want to be associated with those kinds of people” Whatever those kinds of people are? If you are a follower of Christ it is your job to associate with those kind of people and every kind of person because everyone needs Christ’s love. 


1 Cor 13:13 tells us,”and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”. Did you hear that? When they asked Jesus what is the most important thing, He told them “Love”. 


So who have you decided you can’t love? You can’t have it your way in this situation. God says we have to love everyone and in that aspect we need to show them love. Does that mean we sometimes don’t have to set boundaries if there is a possibility of abuse? No! But we can still love and pray for that individual. What it means is no longer when you hear their name or see their face does your gut  turn over and a rage boils up inside of you or you will,no longer will walk past someone without speaking, because you think you are better than they are. 


We just don’t get to have things our way in this area. We are to be a BE’ER of the word, not just doer’s or hearer’s but BE who God has called you to be and that is His love! Just like He walked this earth and loved everyone, we need to do the same. Now, get yourself to church this week and learn more about how He loved everyone because we weren’t meant to do life alone.

Feel the Love

I love weddings. I have told you this? I just love, love! If you have hung out with me very much it doesn’t take long for you to realize that. I have loved weddings since way before I was married and almost decided to be a wedding consultant. I am creative as well as have the gift of organization. (remember my story last week on we all have a gift?) 


So putting any event together especially weddings is just fun for me and because I enjoy the decorating part and I have two single children yet. I have started collecting a few things for their “one day” wedding. I even try to stay on top of the latest trends and styles going on in weddings. 


One of the ways I do that was by following some wedding pages on Facebook. There they ask different questions about what to do at weddings. It was also there that my eyes were opened to a whole different world I didn’t realize was out there. Oh! I guess I knew it happened but I didn’t realize how much.  


It’s there I realized that we have an epidemic in the world and that is the institution of marriage is falling apart. It’s falling apart because we no longer value it anymore because many think it’s okay to just live together. In fact according to the U.S. 2010 census living together has never been more popular. There it was reported 7.5.million couples are living together before or instead of getting married. That is 15 million people.


Due to this great mass exodus of the realization of what God’s word says about being married there is a lack of having weddings. We have a generation of people who have never even been to a wedding. So you can imagine the questions that are being asked on this Facebook page. Some of the things that I think are the most basic knowledge are unknown to most. Why because they aren’t seeing it. They aren’t seeing it lived out in front of them so they don’t know what to do. 


Our church just finished giving its third free wedding away this year and as I walked around last night looking at the almost 100 candles we had lit on the tables,  towards the end of the evening most were almost completely gone. They were melted completely down into the candle holder.
As I looked at them a thought came to me, “Well at least we got our money’s worth out of them because they are done for, useless and over with” another thought came to me after that. “But they represent something that has just begun” 


As we walked around cleaning up after the wedding, table clothes were ripped. Drinks had been split on the table runners and the candles all melted. The place looked somewhat in disarray. But it wasn’t because the guest had been abusive to the property, but simply the natural wear and tear of the day. Kind of like life isn’t it? . 


All I could think about was doesn’t this just represent marriage. Everyday wear and tear on our lives, struggles come and life goes on. It was at that moment I was reminded “What looks like an ending here in this room, is just the beginning for that couple” and so I begin to pray for them. 


In that pray I believe God spoke something in my heart that every church going so called Christian needs to hear. “That is why it is so important for we as followers of Christ live out what He did in this world, what Christ did more in this world than anything else is, He loved. He loved people right where they were.”  


If we read John Chapter 4 we find the story of the woman at the well. Where God goes out of His way and against all customs and traditions of His culture to this city and believe because He went because he wanted to talk to this woman. He was on a mission from His Heavenly Father.


He wanted to meet her and live the love out before her. See if your read, she knew “about” God but she didn’t know the God. Because know one had lived it out before her. She had only heard stories of the God


But Jesus told her in vs 10 “ “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” and then she responds in vs 15 ““Sir, give me this water..” 


Jesus didn’t care that she had 5 husbands and was living with another. Verse 18 “The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.”


He showed her love and because of that she came to know Christ and the bible says in vs 34 she said. “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” 


Then it goes on to say” 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.” 


Jesus showed love to a woman who wasn’t of his culture, sex or stature and back in those days it was unheard of and looked down up on by everyone for a man to even talk to a woman and for a Jew to speak to a samaritain was considered a terrible thing to do. 


But Christ stepped outside the comfort zone of the culture and even his friends and loved with the love of His Heavenly Father.  In most churches today, we still don’t condone living together outside of marriage. Because the bible doesn’t but that doesn’t mean we don’t love the people that do. 


In this day and age when it is such a common occurrence, we as the church must step up and be a light into a world that does not know. A world that has only heard of what marriage can be. 


If we have the gifts and abilities to bless others with this gift of a free wedding we need to do it. We need to use whatever gift God has given us to bless others and do it in love because that is what people will see in us. 


I heard a phrase the other day that “People won’t always remember what you say to them, but they will remember how you make them feel” Let’s make sure when people what away from us, just as that Samaritan woman did with Jesus, she feels the love she has never felt before.