Monthly Archives: June 2009

Good Luck at Pilot Mountain Ronnie!

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Ronnie's commissioning

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Summertime rides and weddings…

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Hi!

Tomorrow the hubby and I are taking off for an early morning ride and breakfast!  I can’t wait!  Tomorrow afternoon we are attending the wedding of some special young friends, Suzanne and Jay! 

jay and suzanne

We are so excited for them!  They will be gorgeous and we can’t wait to celebrate with them!  Congrats you two lovebirds!  God has blessed you with a special love and it shows! 

Many Blessings,

Donna

Who is with us?

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I want to be like that. To change lives. Change the world.
Corynn Godwin
Yesterday at 9:27pm
A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I wasn’t happy with the way I was living. I mean, I’m saved, I’m a Christian and everything, but that’s it. I wasn’t anything more for the Lord. Just the regular show up for church every Sunday morning and night and Wednesday afternoon, and go on the trips with youth group and that’s all. I wasn’t happy with the minimum, and neither was God. I felt like I needed more but I just couldn’t pinpoint it. So, I decided to go all out for God. I’ve decided that quite a few times, but always ended up going back to square one. But I wanted to make this one permanent. So I was working at it.

Two days ago, the youth took a trip to Lake Junaluska (sorry if it’s spelled wrong) and Ashton and I went. We talked for a while about some things that came up the next day. We decided that these things were a waste of time. And she told me that she wanted to go all out for God and not go back. I told her I made that decision a couple of weeks ago. We decided to do it together. We’ve been together since 6th grade, but this is different. We’re sticking to it this time; never going back.

Hold my hand when we jump out of the airplane. I’m holding yours. We’re not going back this time. Crazy? Yes. Crazy for God.

I am realizing more and more things each day, even though that was yesterday.

We’ve already started changing the world. I can’t wait to see the finished product. I can’t imagine how great it’s going to be. Well let’s do this thing together and watch it happen. Till the end of forever babe.

The associate pastor for our church, Ronnie, told me that God is going to use me in big ways, and I’m excited. Ashton and I both.

And with God’s help I believe I can do it. That we can do it. We’re in this together. Together forever babe.

A friend of mine recently got saved. “I want to change,” she said. I helped her change. I led her to salvation. I’m so very proud of her. I love her very much.

I want to be like that. To change lives. Change the world.

So, who’s with us?

I said I wasn’t blogging today, that I needed to spend time with the kids.  Well, this is too importnat NOT to blog and will only take a sec.  This is from my 14 year old daughter’s blog page on FACEBOOK.  I hope you will take a minute to read it, to pray for the lost, for these two young Godly women that God has placed in each others lives, for this very reason. To help change the world, to lead people to Christ, to BE THE LIGHT!   I am with them all the way, are you?  I love you Corynn! 

2009 Annual Holston Conference part 2

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Hi!  This is the little chapel at Lake Junaluska.  It is beautiful inside and out.  Stained glass windows, woodwork, carvings, smooth wooden pews and stone floors.         We went to the early morning service at 7:30 am on Wednesday.  Sitting near the back, I noticed all the beautiful stained glass windows were open and I could hear the birds chirping and the ducks chattering.   The smell of the lake filled the chapel as the preacher spoke.  He spoke about LOVE and how our Father rescues us when we need it, knowingly and unknowingly.  He’s always there, ready to lend a hand and give a lift.  He loves us unconditionally.  It doesn’t matter if we have nose rings and weird hair, or tattoos and long hair, he loves each and everyone of us JUST THE WAY WE ARE.  He works through LOVE to reach us and then to teach us.  He cannot teach us if we are unwilling to be consumed by His love.  To be willing to be loved means to open your heart and receive the gift, just as you do when you receive communion.

I learned something about communion this week, something that I don’t recall ever being taught, or have even thought about.  When we take communion, we are not supposed to “take” it ourselves, as in tearing the bread off the loaf, or taking it out of the basket, we are to be handed the bread, with our hands open to receive the bread, the body of Christ.  Just as we do when we open our hearts to receive the love of God.  It is the most passionate and sacred gift one can ever receive.  I urge you to receive  it with reverence and passion, thinking and thanking God for all that He has done for each of us.  I beg you to not treat communion lightly, but to receive it in prayer and with much reverence.  What Jesus did for us is no joking matter and it should be kept as sacred as possible.  Thanks to my friend who shared this knowledge with me.  I think it made all the difference for me that morning.  God is using you in a mighty way!

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God has used the receiving of communion to break my heart, again and again.  On this particular morning He spoke to me like never before.  As I sat in the smooth, wooden pew, where hundreds have sat before me, I watched the people going down the aisle, one by one, with hands open, to receive the bread, the body of Christ and the juice, the blood.  The cold, smooth stone floor echoed with the soft footsteps, almost like shuffles, no one wanting to make a lot of noise, for fear that the noise would bounce off the stone and mortar walls, breaking the solitude.  It was very solemn.

As I sat there and watched I had never before experienced a communion such as this…every race, creed, color, & nationality was represented in that tiny chapel.  Never before had I seen God’s children THROUGH God’s eyes.  This was a defining moment, Asian, African American, Anglo saxon, Chinese, Spanish, European…God said to me…” Donna, these are ALL my children, each and every one.  Will you serve them?  Not just the familiar and known, but the unfamiliar and unknown.  Look at them, at thier faces…the lost, the sick, the tired, the joyless, the weary, the burdened, they ALL belong to me.  I love them ALL and I want them ALL in my house.  Will YOU serve them with your life, your heart, mind, body and soul?  With every inch of love I give you? Will you give these more?  Will you?

I began to weep.  I stood up to receive communion, head bowed in prayer.  Solemn.  I walked back to my pew and just sat there, tears streaming down my face as I heard God speaking to my heart.  I can’t explain it in words.  After the service was over, I stayed in the Chapel, alone, to pray, seek God’s face,  and gather my thoughts on paper.    As I looked out the beautiful stained glass windows the rain was lightly falling.  It was almost as if it were washing away my fears and cleansing my soul.  A breeze blew lightly across my face and I imagined it was God’s caress for my burdened heart, swirling around me to let me know that He was right there and that He feels the same thing a thousand times over.  The burdens of the people fell on me that morning, one by one, as they passed by me, onto my heart and into my soul. 

My emotions were running high that day and still are today.  I know I can’t face the journey alone and I pray for peace, for strength and for compassion and love for ALL of God’s people.  Not just the people I know, or the people in my town or on my street, but ALL people, everywhere, regardless of race, creed, color, nationality, illness, addictions, etc..  I too am burdened with God’s love for HIS people and it is a burden that grows stronger each day and                                           on this day…exponentially.

d.

 

The 2009 Annual Holston Conference part 1

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100_0832Hi!

This past week I had the pleasure of traveling to Asheville, NC to the Holston Annual Conference that was held at Lake Junaluska.  It started on June 14 and I was only there for a day and a half.  Our Associate Pastor, Ronnie Collins, was being commissioned on June 16, and he was also presenting Laura Holderfield with the Denman award, which is for evangelism.  I had no idea what was in store for my heart or soul in the next 24 hours.  It is a beautiful place, surrounded by the mountains. 

The conference center is right on the lake and you can see the lake from your seats inside.  It is a round building filled with many, many panes of glass.  It reminds me a lot of the Finger Lakes area at home.  You can smell the lake, feel the breeze, hear the wildlife and you better watch your step!  There were many families of ducks and geese waddling and weaving about, to and fro, on a mission to find the next bread crumb or to run away from the little kid who is wildly and gleefully chasing them, with hopes of catching just one, to cuddle and love.   Just as Jesus does us…He intentionally chases us, knowing that one day we will let Him catch us and He WILL finally be able to love us and cuddle us for all eternity!  Mmmmm…

The mountains loomed in the distance, reminding me of Moses and his trek to meet God on top Mount Sinai, the place where God raised Moses to be more than he ever thought he could be.  Moses, the man who questioned God’s call on his life…

Exodus 4:10-13

Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”  11 The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” 13 But Moses said, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”

What happened?  God sent Aaron to help Moses and God did a mighty work through the inadequacy that Moses felt. 

I feel inadequate too.  God sends us help in may ways, through people, education, bible study, passion, family, strangers, encouragement, leaders, Pastors, children, animals, creation and most of all JESUS!  When we look at what Jesus did, the life that He lived, the trials and tribulations he went through, who are we to think we aren’t to go through the same things?  It is IN our inadequacies that people see GOD’s ALMIGHTY hand at work. 

Is it a coincidence that the annual Holston conference is held here, at the base of the mountain, with God looking upon His people, just waiting to raise them up at the asking.  No, this was God’s plan. I am convinced of that. 

I am so blessed to be a church member in this amazing conference.  We have a Bishop who rocked the house the first night I was there.  It was the most powerful service I have attended in a long time.  He spoke from the heart, with conviction and passion and he challenged us to renew our lives right there in Stuart Hall, that sits next to beautiful Lake Junaluska.  He was so passionate and didn’t hold anything back…his beautiful ebony skin glistened with sweat as his eyes filled with tears, and as his voice boomed; with arms raised,  he boldly called us to “offer them Christ” with our whole hearts, our whole selves, with our passion, refueling us, reviving us, renewing us.   God was in our midst.  Many people flocked to the altar, crying out to Jesus and praying, holding each other, arms raised and praising God for all that He has done and is about to do.  If I were a stranger, I would have thought I was in a Pentecostal service.  To think that I was among that many strangers, people I didn’t know, people I had never met, yet they all felt like family because we had a bond of unity in Jesus Christ and the Methodist Church.  There are over 900 churches in the Holston conference, so you can imagine how many Pastors and delegates, as well as lay people were in attendance.  When I left the bulding that night I was joyfully exhausted.   It was hard to get to sleep and I didn’t get much sleep, but I don’t think anyone did. 

My mind, heart and soul were swirling with emotions, ideas, colors, passion, and the sweet , sweet, presence of Jesus.   

In His Joy,

Donna

look f0r part 2 soon!

 

 

The 2009 Denman Award

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Denman Award

Congratulations Laura!  We love you!  It was so awesome to see you receive this award!  You are a woman chasing hard after God!  You go girl!

The Harry Denman Evangelism Award

Begun in 1981 to honor United Methodist clergy and lay persons in each annual conference who exhibit unusual and outstanding efforts for the work on Christian Evangelism, the Harry Denman Evangelism Award helps draw attention to evangelism in your conference by honoring one clergy person and one lay person who are reaching others effectively for Christ.

Those eligible for these prestigious awards are persons who are effective in helping persons to experience the transforming love of God through Jesus Christ.  Each annual conference is encouraged to honor one lay person and one clergy person

from their conference each year.

In 2008, The Foundation for Evangelism celebrated together with 46 conferences the awarding of 94 Denman Evangelism Awards.

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Laura collage 2

Ronnie Collins

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Ronnie's commissioning

This post is for my dear friend Ronnie….

Ronnie, I know you probably didn’t realize this but this popped up on the screen ( image only)  at the conference yesterday and we all thought it looked like you!   It truly does!    The chorus from this song says it all…it reminds me of you and your calling!  God is raising leaders up in His church and you are one of them!  Congratulations on your commissioning Ronnie!  What an exciting day!  You are in our prayers and we love you!

Donna and Family

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Standing on mountains

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Good Morning!

Last night I spoke at our Sunday Night Live service.  God is placing this desire in me to speak well, to be effective, encouraging, and to teach.  I have a long way to go and I know I will get there one step at a time, holding the hand of Christ all the way.  I want people to see Christ so much that it has begun to consume my mind.  Not just in my drawing, but in my speaking and actions as well.  I have much to learn and to say!  I think the next time I speak I may use a flip chart like Susan does at Weight Watchers.  That way I can draw too and do something with my hands.  I mean, what DO you do with your hands?  My hands drove me nuts last night.  I placed them on the stand where my notes were, then I would put them at my side, back and forth.  For whatever reason, they felt inadequate last night. haha.

I imagine Moses felt inadequate to0, don’t you?  I mean, he had to climb this mountain with heavy stone tablets on his back in order to talk to God.  When he arrived at the top, he didn’t come down for 40 days and night!  If I were in the presence of God with His Almighty brilliance, I wouldn’t want to leave either.  I wonder what it felt like?  Warm, hot?  Cozy, comfortable, soft and cuddly?  God raises us up and fills us with wonder and it is in these times that we are made aware that it is GOD who raises us up to be MORE than we can be.  Not us.  He leaves us standing in awe and wonder, our jaws dropped, our hearts racing, and our eyes wide; yearning to stay, to go back, to return to that mountain to bask in His glory.  HE raises us up to stand on mountains and we are only strong when we depend on Him. 

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When Moses came down off the moutain, he had a huge task before him…to build the Tabernacle.  I believe that the Holy Spirit was busy that day, annointing people to and fro, weaving in and out of the crowds, saying, ” a seamstress here, a tentmaker there, a carver, a woodturner, a goldsmith, an artist, an engraver, a builder, an engineer…” and on and on.  Not only that, but the Holy Spirit pressed upon people’s hearts to bring thier offerings to help build the Tabernacle.  They brought so much, they had to be told to stop bringing it!  God at work!  GOD should be called a VERB because He is a full of action!!!!!! 

Here is what we need to do with our hands:

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WORSHIP HIM!!!!!!!!!!!

Standing on the promises,

Donna