It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

Their Future

Our children are a PIECE of time, that we are sending ahead to a PLACE in time, that we will NEVER see! What are you doing today to prepare them for the future?  Are you making “straight tracks” for your children to follow?

Are you teaching them in such a way, that if you were to die today, that they could survive on what you alone have taught them?

Take time today to reflect on all you have taught!  Will it be sufficient?

Remember, that your actions (WHAT YOU DO), speaks much louder than anything you have SAID to them!

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What Are You Teaching?

Kids will develop what they “believe” based on where they are hanging out, or who they are hanging out with. Timothy was taught by his mother and grandmother.  Don’t you know that whatever those two women were excited about, he got excited too?

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What Are You Housing?

THE wagon

God loves Roy Ratliff!  I love sharing our lives with you and all that the Lord allows us to be a part of.

One afternoon, as we passed Texanna Rd Fire Department, the kids yelled, “hey look!”  They saw something that DID NOT look like modern transportation!  A wagon with horses and a bearded man unharnessing his horses.  They wanted to stop and see, but I was on a mission to get Olivia to her piano lesson, while dropping Brady off at the ranch with dad on the way.

Barry and Brady drove back by the fire department on the way home and saw the wagon and horses, turned around and stopped to visit with the man for about an hour and took the opportunity to share the gospel of Christ.  His name was Roy and had been traveling this way for about the last 10 years and gone through 5 teams of horses exclaiming, “JUST CUZ he wanted to!

“Roy’s Stage Lines” houses a team of horses, 2 chickens, 1 dog, a solar panel for electricity, small flat screen tv, a laptop, a sock hanging on the wall to hold his “mouse”, 3 large barrels on the roof to hold his water, outdoor shower and an old seat bolted in the front for driving the team!  He explained to my husband as he opened up one of the feed drawers underneath, that about a week prior, one of his chickens were inside feasting, and much to his surprise, the opening of the drawer cut off the chickens head!  Oops!  The rear view of the wagon displayed approx 10-12 car tags.  Olivia noticed a sign on the front of the wagon that said, “redneck wind sock” that was screwed to an old white sock.  What a unique collection for all to SEE!

I had to ask myself, that just as this mans wagon was his home and a picture of what was important to him, how much more does what I possess, how I chose to live my life and what I allow others to SEE, affect the Kingdom of God?

During my family’s visit with Roy, he said he wasn’t a “religious” man, just an old country boy that doesn’t know nothing! Barry shared his testimony, his life and about his dads salvation (who was just another old country boy who didn’t “know nothing”), etc. and left him with information to seek out the scriptures.  Roy DID SAY that he had a Bible he reads every night!

The next morning we were headed out to a funeral and the kids wanted to stop and say “good-bye”.  Roy gave the kids a shirt and a cap with his name on it!

I just LOVE the things God allows into our lives for HIS GOOD PLEASURE!

Please pray for Roy Ratliff and his salvation, as God loves him too!

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It’s All Grace!

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As I reflect back over the ones who’ve had the greatest impact on my life, I remember my precious Grandma Grace.  Her life began to make the greatest difference AFTER she died.  It was THEN that I realized JUST HOW MUCH she loved the Lord.  Not only did I see HIM in the things she did and said each day, but moreso in the things she DID NOT SAY, OR COULD HAVE SAID.

Grandma Grace set up a memorial stone for me and the generations to come.  Joshua 4 explains exactly what she did for me!  I know the Lord “was well pleased with HIS good and faithful servant”.

Soon after she died, I begged God to make me 1/2 the woman my Grandma was.  Through that request HE began to turn up the heat.  Life seemed more difficult than it had ever been. What The Lord showed me through my trials, was that my Grandma didn’t get to where she was by traveling the easy road, yet it was the difficulties that REFINED her AND made her to look more like HIM.

I had asked my dad about my Grandma Grace (his mother-in-law) and how she affected his life.  After he told me that it was my grandma who led him to Christ, he said this thought provoking statement that I have never forgotten.  “When you met Grace . . . you never forgot her.”  I realized that this is exactly how it is with God’s grace.  His grace has grown more precious to me each passing day on this journey.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:  for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  II Corinthians 12:9

So, when you’re struggling and going through adversities, remember that what you’ve asked God for sometimes may not look like the way YOU THOUGHT it ought to look.  My Grandmothers life AND death were significant in my walk with Christ.  Her legacy lives on!

Does your life honor God in such a way, that you would never be forgotten?  What kind of Memorial Stones are you leaving behind for others to learn from?

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The Church & its Legacy

How does a church or Christian lose it’s godly legacy?

Why do churches that are vibrant end up closed and doors shut? It is a slow digression as it was in the days of Joshua:

When Moses handed the reins to Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land, Joshua did so with purpose and intent. He was a man of commitment and meditated daily on the Word of God. THEN, there were the tribes who followed Joshua half heartedly, who came through the river, saw the walls come down as well as other miracles, yet had no resolve just like many average church members today who are just “warming the pews”. The next generation who followed the ones with no resolve, were enticed by the gods of the land. These people KNEW NOT GOD.

When we are luke-warm, we are in danger of producing a generation who doesn’t know God. Joshua’s personal testimony was strong and consistent, ending his life with a “charge”, yet few chose to follow after him.

Who and how are you leading? Are you purposing with intent to pass the torch of faith so that your children’s children will KNOW GOD?

Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

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My Personal Testimony

I’ve been redeemed from the rubble!

I grew up in a Nazarene church and a religious home with wonderful parents who were “good” people and demonstrated a love for each other and us 3 girls.  We had a large family Bible, but I didn’t have a Bible of my own.  My parents would read us stories from the Bible, but didn’t elaborate, “teaching us” what the Bible said to do and not to do – how to live our lives and crucify our flesh.  Maybe they believed some of the same lies that many parents today believe:  That it’s the churches’ responsibility to teach their children, or that we were just “good kids”.   I’ve recently learned after 26 years of being a mom, that if you’ve missed your children’s heart, you’ve missed it all.

At 12 years old I made a profession of faith at church camp after seeing a movie called, “A Thief in the Night”.  I spent a lot of (17) years living in fear of being left behind and knowing that God, heaven and hell was very real.

At age 29, I was invited to a Christian Concert at Council Road Baptist Church in Bethany, Oklahoma, where Al Denson spoke and sang – as The Lord was speaking to my heart and drawing me to Himself.  Al shared a personal heart wrenching story of losing his best friend (who he’d spent years witnessing to) in an airplane crash.

The airplane had lost one of the twin engines and as the airplane was descending rapidly, Al made one last attempt to lead his friend to Christ, to which he denied for the last time!  His friend died and Al was in a coma for over a month.  When Al recovered from the coma, he wrote a song called “Do You Know This Man?”.  He told the story behind the song, set the stage, then sang it.  Afterwards, he asked the congregation, “If you knew you only had 60 seconds left to live, do you KNOW THAT YOU KNOW, in your heart, that you would go to heaven?”  I DID NOT!  I felt like I had a bowling ball in my throat.  I (literally) RAN to the altar weeping and asking The Lord to save me because I knew I was headed to hell and needed a Saviour!  I got up from that altar feeling as if I’d lost 500 pounds!  That day, HE set my feet on a path, burned a desire DEEP within my heart to know Him and to know truth.  I knew that moment, my life radically changed and I was definitely a new creature!  I was so excited about what had happened to me and IN me!

January 14, 1996 I GAVE MY LIFE to Christ asking Him to be my Lord and Saviour.  I had made a mess of the last 29 years, and HE has spent the next 17 years cleaning me up, teaching me HIS ways, HIS character, HIS voice, HIS grace, HIS love and mercy, HIS long suffering, HIS healing power, and HIS redemptive plan for each one of us.  He is now teaching me things that I was not willing to learn before.  I will never be the same.  Praise The Lord!

On this journey, God has given me a heart for “women whose hearts are hurting” and burdened me to teach the younger girls how to stay on the right path – the way of The Lord, so that they can NEVER say, “no one told me”.  I want to be a voice of truth, making disciples who will carry the torch into the future.  I heard it once said, “Our children are a piece of time, that we will send ahead to a place in time that we will never see.”  So, we must teach and share all that we know with a fervency.  I know it was my past, and God’s spirit, that has given me a passion to share what I know and have learned through His Word and His ways.

In September 2002, I had been invited by a friend to attend a Precept Bible Study at First Southern Baptist in Del City, Oklahoma.  We studied Precept Upon Precept, the book of Deuteronomy!  I began to enjoy and understand God’s Word.  It was not only real to me but precious.  I couldn’t get enough of it!  I would find myself sitting for 2 and 3 hours in the mornings, studying and not wanting to put it away.  The Bible began to come to life for me in a way I’d never seen it.  God’s timing in my life had always been perfect, as it was during this time in my life when I had 2 teenagers leave home (in rebellion) within 6 months of each other.  It felt as if someone was driving a stake through my heart.  Yet it was in those days, I sensed God’s presence and drew near to HIM.

God was teaching me (in Deuteronomy) the blessings of obedience vs. disobedience, to “do just as I commanded, don’t veer to the left and don’t veer to the right, but do just as I commanded”.  God taught me to focus on HIM and do what is right, what HE had called me to do, NOT what my kids desired.  It was one of the most difficult moments in my life as a mother, yet looking back it was one of the most intimate times in my life with The Lord, because I began to see HIS character and trust HIS hand, even when what I was experiencing was disastrous and heartbreaking to lose two children to the world!  He began to show me that HE had a will for them apart from me, and that although I had lost them, HE knew right where they were.

If there is ONE thing I have come to know since my salvation, it is that HE is always there and can be trusted as you walk through the fires!

The Lord has given me this blog to share truth with others, be a light, sharing lessons learned as well as paths to be avoided.  I am grateful to God, for the grace HE has poured upon me.  That grace is there for you as well.  All you have to do is ask for it, surrendering your ways, letting HIM lead your life.

He can do a lot more with what you don’t have, than you can do with what you do have!

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Where Is Your Arena?

In Hebrews 11:1-24, all these people who had great faith, their arena was their home!  It’s more important to live by faith at home than it is at church!  Faith is what allows Gods people to know the truth.  If I am a person of faith at home, it is extremely impactful.  Don’t allow your godly heritage to stop with you!  It’s not about making our kids DO WHAT IS RIGHT, but making our kids WANT to do what is right.

Joshua chose WHOM his children would serve. When looking at a man or a pastor, examine what kind of kids he has and you can determine the FAITH & INTEGRITY of that man of God!  Evangelist Bill Rice III

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A Crippled Boy

How will your loved ones be treated (by others in the future), based on the way you live for Christ today?  It greatly affected the life of a little boy who became lame in both feet at the age of 5 years old.  Mephibosheth was crippled by someone else’s attempt to protect his life.  He could have grown bitter and resentful.  But, because Mephibosheth’s Father (Jonathon) chose to love David unconditionally, laying down his life for another (who eventually became the king), Mephibosheth was not only taken care of, but what belonged to his father was restored to him and his family.

Are you reaping the blessing of someone else’s walk?  How are you being treated today based on how your ancestors lived in the past?  What will you do today so that others who come behind you may reap God’s blessing?  Are you a recipient of someone’s else’s obedience to Christ?  Will you INTENTIONALLY pass that on to others?

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