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I am so excited about our 2nd Annual praise and worship conference August 9-12, 2012!

This year we will be welcoming Pastor Sam Hinn, pastor of the Gathering Place to kick us off on Thursday night’s general session.

Friday, August 10, Freddy Rodriguez will be our speaker.

I have been so blessed by his ministry and I cannot wait to hear him!

Saturday, August 11, we will have a full day of workshops for singers/songwriters, musicians and dancers, discussion panels and worship with presenters:

Amazing award winning vocalist, and worship leader LaRue Howard, who has been one of my personal worship mentors (even though she doesn’t know it!)

The incredible John Wilds worship leader at Church on the Living Edge under the leadership of Dr. Mark Chironna.

James Burt, who is a phenomenal musician, music director and producer of William McDowell’s As We Worship Album.

Tyrina Murphy, a gifted liturgical dancer.

Saturday at 7pm will be a powerful night of worship with LaRue Howard, John Wilds and our own Relevant Worship team.

If you are in the area, or can get here, I encourage you to come and be a part of this event.
Last year’s conference was awesome, and we are expecting this year to far exceed it!

To register for the conference visit our website at Relevant Church or call our office, 386-257-4622.

Evening sessions are all open to the general public so join us!

Valuable Lessons from DirecTV

I have been a DirecTV customer for almost six years. My contract expired 4 years ago, but I am still a loyal customer. The other day when my kids tried to watch Nickelodeon, they were a little upset to find a public service announcement -trying to explain why DirecTV wasn’t carrying that channel right now- instead of iCarly. (But that’s not what this post is about)

So anyways, I called DirecTV just to try to find out 1) If they thought they might get their missing channels back soon, and 2) to see what kind of deal I could get if I re-signed a contract with them.

I am trying to lower all of our bills, so figured I could start with the cable. I had visited their website and found this!

Now, I was not expecting the same deal as a new customer but I thought they might try to work with me, considering I’m not in a contract and could potentially cancel at any time. Not to mention the fact that I am a loyal customer!

I researched a couple of packages and asked the girl on the phone about them. Her response? “Oh, no, those deals are for our NEW customers. You are an old customer.” I talked with her for a few minutes more and she tried to offer me something else, but it didn’t save me any money, so I told her I would think about it.

After I hung up the phone I thought, “Wow, they are only concerned with getting NEW customers rather than trying to keep the existing, faithful customers they already have happy.” Then I thought, “Wow, What a valuable lesson.”

Being in the ministry we are constantly dealing with people. Both new and existing members, volunteers and staff. The seasons of people’s lives are constantly changing as well as their level of involvement and excitement about being a part of the ministry.  Sometimes when a new person comes on board, it’s easy to try to make them happy. Their excitement and enthusiasm can be invigorating.  However, in the process of building new relationships, it’s important not to let the existing, faithful relationships fall by the wayside. It’s important to maintain the same sense of excitement about our current volunteers as the new ones.

In Isaiah 43:4, God says Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored, And I have loved you;

If God sees everyone as valuable and precious, we should too! If He honors and loves everyone, so should we! Take the time today to value everyone in your life, wether it be a new friend or a long-time faithful acquaintance!


Even Pastor’s Wives Don’t Get It Right Sometimes


I’m gonna tell you something that might shock you. Are you ready?

Sometimes I don’t listen when God speaks to me.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute. Yes even a pastor’s wife- who is in full time ministry, who leads praise and worship, who teaches Bible School, who counsels people, and I could go on and on- doesn’t get it right sometimes!

This morning I woke up early. 6:30am. Which I know isn’t early for some of you, but it’s summer and I get to go into the office a little later, plus I went to bed really late the night before. So back to my story.

6:30am, I wake up. And I’m talking wide awake, bright eyed and bushy tailed, could’ve gotten up and taken on the whole world kind of waking up. I looked at my phone to see what time it was and saw how early it was. I didn’t feel like I needed to go back to sleep so contemplated just getting up and starting my day. Then I heard that still small voice saying, “Go downstairs and pray for a little while.”

And guess what? I didn’t. I laid in bed, and didn’t even go back to sleep, but just laid there and thought about nothing for at least an hour.

It hit me about 15 hours later. After I had a stressful day. After I felt completely overwhelmed and a bit panicky at everything I still needed to accomplish. After I almost had a nervous breakdown. After I got mad at my kids. After I felt like an utter failure. Hmmmm maybe I should’ve gotten up and prayed this morning.

I’m not saying anything would’ve been different if I had, but I’m pretty sure I would’ve been able to handle it better. My heavenly Father was trying to prepare me for what was coming and I like a dummy didn’t listen.

Lamentations 3:22-23 in the Message Bible says-

22-23God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!

Thankfully I get a do over tomorrow. So I’m not gonna beat myself up over it, I’m just gonna get it right next time.And you better believe when He speaks, I’m am going to listen and obey!

Da do run run!

If you’ve been around here very long, you know that over the past year or so I have developed a love of running. This in itself is a miracle, because even when I was a kid I could not run. Note I did not say I would not, but that I could not. I would get short of breath and my chest would feel like it was on fire. because of this I avoided running at all costs. As an adult it was something that I just did not ever think I would be able to do. Until last year when I started forcing myself to run. It was slow going  little by little, adding a block at a time, until one day I just pushed myself to run a mile! That was a happy day! (After I was finished of course) 🙂

Since that time I have gone back and forth with my consistency but I have at least continued to run a few miles at least once or twice a week.

I am even toying with the idea of running a half marathon next year. ( I will be honest and say that the Disney Princess Half Marathon caught my attention, primarily because who wouldn’t love to put on a tutu, a tiara and be a princess for a day even if it meant running 13 miles in the process!)

One thing I have learned about running, is that you need the right shoes otherwise you will regret it! I have a pretty good pair, but yesterday my husband took me to the sporting goods store and I was ruined when I tried on a pair of Mizunos! They were like heaven on my feet.

Being the bargain shopper I am, I of course went straight to EBay to see if I could score a pair for half the price. I did and my new shoes will be here next week! I am looking forward to trying them out.

It’s the little things that make me happy!

This Saturday, July 14 at 7:30am, a big group of us will be meeting at the Ormond Beach Sports Complex to run, or walk or walk/run. All levels of runners will be represented; from avid runners, to beginners, to those who just want to leisurely stroll. If you are a women in the area, come on out and join us! We would love to see you there!

Hebrews 12:1 does tell us- let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. so we are going to take this scripture literally! Some of us may also need to meditate on Philippians 4:13I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!

Honor and custom jewelry

I perked up when I read this during my morning devotions. One, because I’m all about some custom jewelry! Second because this ties in with what I was teaching last night to our IBTC students.

I am teaching a class on Honor using John Bevere‘s awesome book Honor’s Reward as a basis for the curriculum. Last night we were discussing showing honor to everyone we encounter. I Peter 3:17 says Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 

To honor means to value, to esteem, to treat as valuable. We are instructed in the Word to honor everyone we come into contact with! Just a side note, the opposite of honor is dishonor which interestingly enough simply means to treat as common or inconsequential. We are to treat every person we encounter as though they mean something, as though they are valuable to us.

Some of the practical examples of how to accomplish this that were given were:

1. Ask the Lord to place true honor in your heart for those around you. Without true honor your attempts to show honor will come across as insincere.

2. Smile and greet those you meet each day. Take the time to ask their name and address them with respect.

3. Do something unexpected for someone. Pay for the person behind you at Starbucks. Offer the mailman a cold bottled water on a hot summer day. Going out of your way to show kindness is a way to show honor.

4. Be willing to speak a word in season when God directs you. Now I’m not talking about prophesying, unless you are so led, but how about just saying “Hello”, “How are you?”, “That shirt looks nice on you!” How about asking how their family is doing? How about just being cordial?

The grocery store clerk, the gas station attendant, the lady working at the DMV are all valuable. How good would it make her feel if instead of just telling the bank teller you need to make a deposit, you ask her how her day is going, and how she is doing? (I actually just did this at the tag agency today and the lady lit up and her mood noticeably changed as she in turn asked me how my day was going!) I’m sure after dealing with a bunch of grumpy people who are mad that they have to wait in line, it was nice for her to hear someone ask her how her day was going.

Remember today’s verse? The right word at the right time is like custom jewelry. Something that is custom is either one of a kind or created just for you. Isn’t it cool to think that you could be the one to deliver a custom, unique, one-of a kind word from God Himself, to someone that you meet?

Workin’ for the Weekend!

Today I woke up singing that 80’s Loverboy song, “Everybody’s workin’ for the weekend!” (don’t look at me with that tone of voice! You know you know that song too!)

I thought about how so many people live for their weekends! I do too, but probably for a different reason. I don’t get weekends off, but I look forward to them all week long.

That’s because I have one of the greatest jobs in the world- Pastoring a church. (alongside my husband!)

My Sundays are spent getting up early to be at church by 8:00am so I have time to do what I need to do before choir rehearsal at 9:00am, service at 10:30am followed usually by lunch with someone, then home for about an hour or two and back to church by 5:30pm for sound check and evening service. After that I work on processing contributions and whatever else needs to be done. And I WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING! It doesn’t hurt that we have an amazing church family!


I am so thankful for our Relevant Church family and never lose my sense of wonder that God chose us to lead them!

I agree with what the Psalmist David said in Psalms 122:1- (MSG) When they said, “Let’s go to the house of God,” my heart leaped for joy. My heart leaps for joy every day that I am privileged to be in His house!!  

I’ve heard it said, “doing what you love isn’t a job.” I do go to the office nearly every day, but it’s rarely “work”!

I’m a beach girl!

I’ll never forget the day I first saw that ocean. I was 19 or 20  (I did forget the actual date, but I’ll never forget the actual moment) A group of friends had gathered at my apartment after work one night and the topic of the beach came up. I mentioned I had never been, and two of my friends decided we should remedy that. We had the next couple of days off, so we jumped in the car, with nothing but a toothbrush and a swim suit and drove from Louisville, Ky down to Destin, Florida.

The moment we got within distance of the ocean, I ran to the beach and sat watching the water roll in and out. It wasn’t the best weather day. It was cloudy and a little windy, but that did not deter my wonder as I was captivated by the waves. For the next couple of days I had many more moments of awe as I spent hours watching the beauty of God’s creation. Thus started my love for the beach!

For the past ten and a half years I have had the privilege to live 10 minutes away from the ocean and I take advantage of it is much as I can. I have also been blessed to see some other great beaches . Here are a few that I love!

Boca Raton, Fl (Our honeymoon spot!)

Harbor Island, Bahamas (the sand is pink and sparkly!)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Only saw this from the street, but I am going back one day soon!)

Pensacola Beach, Florida

And where we spend most of our beach time in Ormond by the Sea!

In Job 38:8-11 The Lord says to Job 8  Or who shut up the sea with doors when it broke forth and issued out of the womb?—When I made the clouds the garment of it, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it10 And marked for it My appointed boundary and set bars and doors,11 And said, Thus far shall you come and no farther; and here shall your proud waves be stayed?

I love what it says in the Message Bible- And who took charge of the ocean 
when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb? That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds, and tucked it in safely at night. Then I made a playpen for it, a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose,And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place.  Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’

Every time I see the ocean, wherever it may be, I am reminded that the God I serve is the one who created it, and keeps it in it’s place. How awesome is He!

How about you? What’s your favorite beach spot, or non beach spot?

God Bless America

Today is July 4th, the day we celebrate our country’s independence. All over America, people will be firing up the grill, spending time with family and friends, gathering to watch fireworks displays and enjoying a day off of work!

In the midst of the merriment, let’s not forget what Independence Day is really all  about. A day to celebrate freedom. A day to remember that our founding fathers escaped to this country so that they (and we) could have the liberty to serve God. I for one am thankful for this great land of ours. Let’s not take for granted what we have.

There are so many all over the world who are not afforded the same luxury we have been freely given. Freedom. To serve God, to pray out loud, to read our Bibles, to live without fear of consequences.

On this Anniversary of our nations founding, let’s take a minute out of our day to say a prayer for this country of ours. Let’s thank God for what we have and then pray that we will continue to be one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone sing this better. I hope you enjoy!


Are you being sharpened?

I have a great set of kitchen knives thatI got when we got married. They were fantastic for a while. Then the more they were used, the less great they became. They started getting dull, which was really annoying when I was trying to cook dinner and could barely cut a tomato let alone the chicken. Most knife sets come with a sharpening tool, so I used it to try to restore the knives to their original condition. They worked a little better, but still not great.

We had a friend who was very into knives. He had a collection and everything! He also had the tools needed to keep them sharp. One day he took my kitchen knives, fixed them up and brought them back to me razor sharp! Needless to say I handled them very carefully for a while. :0

What does this have to do with anything? Just like those knives, no matter how sharp we start out, after a while we can become a little dull. Sure we can try to sharpen ourselves, but sometimes we need a little help.

I don’t know about you but after spending time with my friends, I always feel so invigorated. I’ve been sharpened. Whether we are talking about our kids, the latest sales at the mall, our struggles with healthy eating and exercise, or the things of God it is always nice to know that there are others who feel like I do, who have experienced what I am currently going through, and who just love me for me.

How about you? Do you feel sharpened by your current circle of friends? If not it may be time to look for some new ones!!

Leading and Loving It!

For about a year and a half I’ve been involved with a fabulous organization called Leading and Loving It. It is a group that  connects pastor’s wives and women in ministry both virtually through their online community and in person through local events and a yearly 3 day retreat. A year ago I began participating in a virtual community group. We met once a month and also interacted through social networking.

Last week I had the opportunity to take it a step further and host a local event, a Leading Ladies Luncheon.

There were 8 ladies that attended (besides myself) and it was certainly God-ordained.  Since I opened it up to not only Pastor’s Wives, but also to Women in Ministry we had a group with a mixture of ministry roles. 4 Senior Pastor’s wives (3 of them church planters), 2 women in supportive ministry, a missionary and a lady who runs a Women’s resource center. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and I know that the ladies were uplifted and encouraged. They are excited about getting together again soon!

As we were all introducing ourselves, it was the lady who runs the women’s resource center’s turn and as she began talking about her ministry, the presence of God descended in the room. Several of the women began to cry as she spoke about how they help young ladies who are considering abortion make the choice to have their babies, how they help single mothers learn how to parent their children, as she talked about how even when they had great needs, they always saw God come through for them. Her beautiful spirit and passion for what she does touched each of us! The ladies that are in this area are excited about coming together to reach out to the women in this community and the ladies that live in other areas are equally excited about what they can do where they live!

When I first planned this event I thought it would just be to strengthen each other, but God’s plan is so much better. Not only were we encouraged, but we were sparked to reach the community in a greater way together. If there was no other reason for this event today, I believe it was to connect us. I meant to get a group photo with everyone, but we were all so enthralled with the conversation that we literally talked until everyone had to make a mad dash to get back to their day!

For me personally, I have been looking for something our women’s ministry could do to make a difference in the lives of women outside the church. It turns out the pregnancy resource center is right down the street, only 2 minutes from our church facility. We have a single mom’s ministry that the director was excited about integrating her single mom’s into, and on Saturday she came and spoke to our women about ways we could get more involved in what they are doing for women in our community.

I am so very thankful for the vision of Leading and Loving It, and the opportunity to join with them in connecting Pastor’s wives and women in ministry. I am already looking forward to hosting another local event as well as a virtual community group in the fall.

If you are a pastor’s wife, I whole-heartedly encourage you to get connected with this group. It will be a great blessing to your life!