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 Last weekend I spoke at the Run Well, Finish Strong Women's Conference at Middle Valley Baptist Church is Hixson, TN. What a great group of ladies!! And man, can they work a theme.

This is what the stage looked like.

And this was on the screen in the church.

I was to speak one time on Friday night and two times on Saturday. My messages were from the Book of 2 Timothy. 

Ray-Ray and I drove up on Friday. We arrived at the hotel around 3:30. Ray dropped me at the hotel and then went to the church to set up the book table. I went to my room to unpack and study my notes.

Now, you need to know that I have taught the Bible for over 30 years. I have a routine-I type my message out word-for-word. I add my illustrations and circle them. I use a yellow highlighter to mark certain words. I ALWAYS (almost) have 3 points in my message. I put all the Scripture references in red. I clip my notes together a certain way. I put them in my binder a certain way. I always have a handkerchief, baby glasses matched to my outfit, and a watch. I double check my earrings to make sure they will not bump the microphone and my bracelets so they don't make any noise.

I have a routine, people. A routine.

I sat at the desk in my room and studied until it was time to stop and get dressed. I got ready - well, everything but my slacks. I decided to press them and put them on at the last minute so I did not arrive wrinkled. I left my slacks laid out on the ironing board and put a pair of jogging pants until I was ready to walk out the door.

With a few minutes to spare I looked over my notes one more time. I had set an alarm for my departure time on my phone. When it chimed, I changed into my dress slacks, picked up my notebook binder and Bible, and headed out the door. I was anxious to get to the church, see the ladies, and begin the conference.

Shelly Johnson led the worship. Oh my! What a gifted worship leader. I was introduced and I headed for the podium. I opened my binder. This is what I should have seen.

But this is what I saw!

An empty binder. Seriously? This has NEVER happened before. (I lost my notes in India one time but that is another story!). But then, things happen to me that don't happen to other people. Seriously! 

I blame the iron. I have always suspected that ironing was a dangerous occupation and now I have proved it. Evidently when I stopped to change into my freshly ironed slacked, I failed to put my notes into my binder. Seriously, people. This has never happened to me before.

I was slated to speak for an hour. I am seriously committed to studying God's Word for hours before I bring a message. I consider it a divine privilege to teach God's Word - one I don't take lightly. So I was horrified when I realized I did not have any notes. It seemed careless on my part but faced with the option of not speaking OR teaching from memory, I stepped out in faith and asked the Lord to speak through me as His handmaiden - one who was especially humbled by the lapse in my routine. 

If you know my God, it won't surprise you that He showed up BIG TIME! My mind is evidently rattled by my God is BIG!

Posted: 3/16/2012 7:11:11 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

My mom was hospitalized in December with shortness of breath. Her doctor instructed me to take her immediately to the emergency room when I described her symptoms. I did not think to pack a bag but I did take our emergency cash which consisted of three 100 dollar bills. We arrived at noon and my mom was taken to a room and treated. At 2:00 a.m. they decided to admit her and we were moved to a private room on the floor. I curled up on a couch and slept fitfully for about an hour and a half. Here is what happened when I went to get something to eat. Without any toiletries or make-up I could not do anything to make my weary self look any better!

At lunch time of Tuesday I went to the cafeteria at Baptist East and got a cup of soup and a Mineral Water. I had just spent 14 hours in the ER room with my mom, gotten to a room at 2 am, grabbed a tiny bit of sleep, met with 2 doctors and a multitude of nurses, repeated mom's medical history about 11 times, watched her monitors and tracked her stats, and tried to make notes of everything that had happened. Keep that in mind as your read this. 

I got to the checkout register. I opened my wallet. I had 3 ones and three 100 dollar bills. I realized my lunch would be more than $3.00. I asked the cashier if she could break a 100 dollar bill and she should she was sorry but she could not. I told her that I would just put my Mineral Water back and buy the soup. 

Thank you kind person in the next line, for leaning over and paying for my water!! What was it about it me that moved you to compassion? Was it the fact that I had on no make-up and I was completely bleary-eyed? Was it my serious case of bed-head that tipped you off? Maybe it was the fact that I had slept in my clothes that caused you to feel sorry for me. Could you tell I was operating on about 1.5 hours of sleep? Or did you read the lines of concern and anxiety etched on my face? Perhaps, sweet lady, you are a Christian and the Jesus in you prompted you to minister to me. Whatever transpired, God used your act of kindness to remind me that, just as you paid for my water, Jesus had gone to the Cross to pay my debt in full! Hallelujah! And gently He reminded me He was clearly present in the midst of my crisis. "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, MUCH MORE having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life" (Rom. 5:10).

For the ability for My God to speak to me and minister to me through the simple kindness of a stranger is evidence Jesus is still teaching us through parables-using earthly events to teach heavenly messages. As I sat in silence and drank my Mineral Water, tearfully thanking the Father for "a cup of cold water" I was grateful I have partaken of the Living Water that ensures I will never thirst again. 

In John 7:37-38 Jesus said, "If anyone who is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture says, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"
Posted: 3/14/2012 11:31:45 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments