The Disconnect Between Knowing and Doing

So I’ve been doing a lot of studying in James 1:22-25 in preparation for my church’s annual women’s retreat.  (And it totally wasn’t lost on me that Beth got on this passage in Session Two of Breaking Free tonight!)  James is not for the faint of heart.  Homeboy just tells it like it is which is why I’m particularly fond of him even in the midst of recovering from the wounds he inflicts on my sinful soul.  One of the themes of our study weekend will address the disconnect between heart and hand – of what we hear versus what we do.  In short, it’s all about obedience, girlfriends, which is the point of my writing today.

One of the beauties of our blog community is the wealth of life experience that we are able to share with one another.    Your insights are invaluable to me because you bring balance to my points of view which may not cover the full spectrum of the needs of those listening.  Yes, I trust the ‘rhema’ word of God, but I also know that as a woman I need practicality for a lesson to hit home.

Do you girls care if we have ourselves a little discussion?  I welcome you to answer anonymously if you’d like.  

1.  Think of the most current thing the Lord has asked of you in the matter of a command/conviction/etc.   Did you obey what He asked of you?

2.  If yes, was it relatively easy?    Was it excruciatingly hard?     What was the end result?

3.  If you did not, why?    Does the term ‘spiritual blackmail’ speak to the possibility of some perceived disaster Satan has used to threaten your obedience?

These questions are vague because I want to explore your responses.   I encourage you to expand on these thoughts in any way you feel compelled.  

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.    I’ll talk back in the comments!

A Fab Weekend

***UPDATED TO ASK: In case you don’t make it to the end of this post, I’m dying to ask you about your own retreat experiences. Does your church do one, attend one, etc? Since we are continuously evaluating the format of our own, I’d love to hear the logistics of yours as in where you go, what you love, and what you don’t love. Attendees of ours are welcome to share the same! I won’t get upset if there’s something you don’t like – unless you say you can’t stand the teacher in which case I will cry.***

I want to thank all of you who prayed, sent emails, and Facebook messages to cover me during the retreat I taught in Pigeon Forge this past weekend.  God – as always – was faithful to work through His Word in spite of the girl He had deliver it. 

It was a treat being able to spend time with some of my most special  friends in this world as well as my MIL Frankie and SIL, Laura Beth.   Please keep Laura Beth and her husband TJ in your prayers.  They had to relocate their business which was totally destroyed in the flooding in North Georgia last week.  If there is anyone who needed time on a mountain, it was her!

Many of my worlds collided this weekend.  In addition to my family being there, Candice and Kelly who have been my best friends for over 20 years came along.  My MIL invited Jenny, a friend from our current church, to lead worship.  Debbie, Tara, and Cindy came from our last pastorate.  I couldn’t tell ANY of my good church stories.  Dern.

The weekend was great but I enjoyed the drive home almost as much. We drove through Wear’s Valley and stopped at the most fabulous pumpkin patch. I didn’t buy anything but now that I’ve touched mums and gourds, I’m officially in the fall spirit.

Here are a couple of pictures. There are lots more on the retreat recap on my ministry website. Y’all check it out!

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{Debbie, Cindy, and Me. These two girls make me laugh harder than anyone I know.}

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{Kelly, Me, and Candice. My BFF’s forever. Girls, you are my constants.}

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{Jenny and me at the most awesome punkin’ patch ever.} 

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{Me sitting on what I thought was a very large pumpkin. Seems my backside is larger.}

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{Candice and Me at, you guessed it, The Pumpkin Patch.}

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{Me and Tara. Girl, I love your non-discerning self.}

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{Beth, a wonderful fellow PW, Ms. Ruth, and Ms. Ann. Y’all, I want to be all of these women when I grow up. Practically single-handed, Beth put together a wonderful bonafide Tea for her women a couple of months ago. I pray my church girls never catch wind of it. And then there’s Ruth and Ann who have the most fabulous accessorizing skillz you have EVER seen. I told Ms. Ruth (middle) that I wanted to be just like her one day and she said, “Well, I hope you can be. I hope you live as long as I have and that you have the wonderful life I’ve had.” To the law and to the testimony. I love this precious woman. And Ann? She spoke the most wonderful words of encouragement over me after the retreat that I will take to my grave. True southern belles in a world of ding dongs.}

Again, thank all of you for supporting me in every way. You have no idea how your prayers keep me from melting into a squalling heap of insecurity.



Leaving on a Jet Plane

So maybe it’s more like a crop duster than a jet but this morning, I’m flying out to Oklahoma to teach a retreat to a darlin’ bunch of girls from Grace Church of NW Arkansas. (They are on the border of Arkansas/Oklahoma hence all the state-hopping.)

I wanted to tell you more leading up but I’m just flat out of time so I’ll try to share some pics when I get back. I covet your prayers. First that the Lord would cleanse my heart and my prone-to-wander mouth. But mostly I pray for these girls. None of us ever goes on a journey such as this without expecting to hear a specific word from God. Satan has long tried to keep me focused on my own abilities (or lack thereof) guaranteeing a roller coaster of emotions on my part if I feel I didn’t say the right thing. (It normally comes in the form of calling myself all manner of idiot when I’m done.) BUT, God has done a hard-fought, transforming work to bring me to a place of full confidence in HIS ability to use stammering lips coupled with His Word to change hearts. So, if I ramble, may it be in scripture and not stupidity. And, Dear Jesus, above all may you be glorified and may we all be changed. (Hi Grace Girls! Aren’t you so glad you’ve asked me to come? :)

Okay, gotta run. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support. I love you all, Homies and Non-Homies alike. :)

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