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Was Sunday Real? or Was It Just Emotion?
Generations of Love
The Bat Attack: 3 Ways to Conquer Fear
It’s raining……..again!
Shirley Goodness and Her Husband, Mercy

Was Sunday Real? or Was It Just Emotion?

Ok…….let’s be real with each other. It is the middle of the week after a Sunday in which the Lord really moved in my heart and in many other’s hearts. I dealt with some personal sin in my own life. I prayed and called out for the Lord on behalf of my family, my church, my friends, our nation, and our world as Preacher led us. I sang at the top of my lungs………”There is Power in the Name of Jesus to break every chain.”   P I fell on my knees in brokenness and stood up to walk in His freedom, joy, and forgiveness.

But now it is the middle of the week and some of those chains are rattling in front of me. I see them and I hear them. The enemy is taunting me and the feeling is fading. So what do I do???

Preacher said, “Revival is renewed passion to know Christ, love Christ, share Christ and serve Christ!”  So I decided to………

  • Run to the Word!  The best way to know Christ is to be in His word. To read it, study it, memorize it. There is no shortcut on this. If you don’t choose to run to His word, well you might as well just quit reading this blog right now.  So I ran to His word and the Lord began to teach me even more about Revival and how to sustain it in my own life. Here are some practical things that the Lord said to me through thru the following verse:

The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon my high places.  To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.”  Habakkuk 3:19                           

  • Make sure He is my Master. The word “God” in Habakkuk 3:19 is “Adonai” which means “Master”.   Unless He is my Master in every area of life…..meaning I choose to obey Him every time He speaks to me ……..He will not be my strength. When I was a little child, I was told that when God speaks to you that you should take the first step in obedience and then His strength will carry you through. I know this is truth for every directive He has ever given me………from choosing to hold my tongue to moving across the country to serve Him in a new ministry. The first step is my obedience, and then His power enables me!


  • Acknowledge my high places and REPENT!  High places aren’t fun, pretty places. In the Old Testament “high places” referred to where people sacrificed to idols. Many times people sacrificed their own children on high places. High places are strongholds of sin in my life. A stronghold is the area of your life that the enemy has a grip on; an area that the enemy can count on your response. It can be an addiction to food, alcohol, drugs, approval, gossip, anger, greed, shopping, pride, laziness, self-centeredness and the list goes on and on. God’s power can’t enable you to walk on your high places unless you are willing to acknowledge you have them. If I excuse my “sin” because of anything or anyone, then the chains can’t be broken. One can’t repent and turn from sin unless, one acknowledges and agrees with God that it is sin.


  • Have the feet of a doe! Yep, that’s what the Lord said. Hind’s feet are the feet of a female deer. I believe God specifically used “hind’s feet” for a reason. The feet of a male and female deer are different!   As I researched this some experts say that a doe can go higher than a buck because they are more agile and because their feet are different.   One study said that doe’s nails are longer so they can grip the rocks better and therefore are more agile in rocky environmentsThe Lord doesn’t want strongholds in our lives to pulls us down or weigh us down.   He wants to give us hind’s feet to move powerfully and effectively through them.


  • Worship! Habakkuk, the prophet, began chapter 3 with a musical term “shigionoth”…… a musical term that meant to sing with delirious joy.  The prophet closes chapter 3 by reminding us about worship.   Worship when the chains are rattling! Worship means to declare God’s worth. Fill your heart, your mind, your life with music which glorifies Him.  Speak words of His worth!   The moment I begin to sing His praise, the noise of the rattling chains disappears.


  • And finally Serve others and Share Christ…..Revival is only revival as Preacher says when it leaves the church building. So this week when I began to “lose the feeling” I asked the Lord to put others in my path that I could serve and share Christ’s love with. After having several opportunities to just love on others, God begin to fill me with His joy.

So up on Rocky Top I have seen a lot of deer. I haven’t been quick enough to snap a picture of one.

But a dear friend of mine has! She actually took the above picture of a doe on my high place…..yep right outside my window. See that precious doe peeking up over the rocky top!  When she sent me this picture I had so much joy in my heart. Thank you Lord that you will send Your power into my life to walk right through any stronghold/high place in my life if I will just run to your Word, acknowledge you as my master, worship you and then love and serve others!!!

Sunday was REAL!   “There’s an army rising up……to break every chain, break every chain.”

Generations of Love

I’m sitting on the back porch today at Rocky Top contemplating the last 35 years! Whoa…that is a long time! Yet, that is the number of years I have been married to Preacher.

Remembering our first date at Wendy’s and a movie, this blonde haired, blue eyed guy caught my heart!

After sitting on a swing at Baylor University for several hours talking, I knew he was “The One”! I ran upstairs to my dorm room and proudly announced to my roommate, “I’m going to marry, John Avant.”

And two years later, we walked down the aisle of Miller Chapel at Baylor and pledged our lives to one another and began a wild adventure.

During those 35 years we have lived in four states, eleven apartments/houses, served seven churches and one denominational mission agency, been on mission together in 7 countries, raised 3 children who are now all married, and have two adorable grandchildren. Wow……I’m tired.

We have also in those 35 years experienced death of parents, a grandchild and dear friends; experienced sickness and surgeries; and there were times that we might have called our marriage quits if not for the fact Preacher would lose his job if our marriage failed. Does that shock you?? It shouldn’t!

A good marriage is hard work! BUT a good marriage is full of joy and fun!

It is fun to dance with my husband knowing he has chosen me over and over! It was a blast to dance at each of my children’s weddings with the man who helped me bring them into this world and helped to parent them. And it is a joy to watch my husband throw his grandchildren up into the air as they laugh and squeal with delight.

But I do have regrets and there are things that I want to grow in as a wife to this blonde haired, blue eyed guy who I truly adore…even after 35 years.

If we don’t grow, we regress and eventually love grows cold.

So in celebrating 35 years of marriage I want to leave you with some wisdom from some women who have been married longer or almost as long as I have.……..collectively this wisdom comes from almost 150 years of marriage being represented!  Here are some great ways to grow in your marriage!

  1. Love Jesus first…..He is the only one who can truly meet all your needs!
  2. Show affection to your man and have lots of sex!…….Get over your body image…he chose you and thinks you are beautiful. But do choose to take care of yourself…he wants you around!
  3. Keep dating…….choose to have time alone each week without kids!
  4. Go on adventures together…..experience new things together.
  5. Keep communication lines open…… it out!
  6. Never forget the bigger picture…working on your marriage is about creating……..GENERATIONS OF LOVE……..and that will ultimately change the world!

The Bat Attack: 3 Ways to Conquer Fear

I’m reposting by request and because it compliments Preacher’s sermon Sunday on fear!

It had been raining for days on Rocky Top so my brown rocker outside had been eluding me.  The forecast last night had given me hope of sunshine for the coming day.

I woke up suddenly to thuds against my windows. I sat up and said loud enough for the Preacher to wake up…..What is that noise?? He did wake up, stumbled out of bed and peered through the wooden blinds….It’s just some birds hitting the window. He then plopped back into the bed to sleep until his alarm went off in 15 minutes!

His explanation didn’t satisfy me…..especially when the thuds grew more frequent.

I walked over to the window and looked for myself. Oh my word….Preacher…this isn’t birds….those are bats…..hundreds of bats were flying on my precious back porch, encircling my brown rocking chair…..NO it was not raining but Bats were attacking my home!!!

I went and looked outside the rest of the windows…..bats everywhere!!! They were flying on the front porch, the side porch, the basement porch. We were officially under bat attack!!!

Ok…..think Donna… must get rid of these hideous creatures. Not totally sure why they have chosen my house to attack…..but they are’t welcome here. And I refuse to allow them to rob me of my back porch and rocking chair today. I will not live in fear of BATS!

1.  I walked around the house and turned on every outside light we had. The sun had risen but due to the clouds and mist, it really was’t that light outside. I remembered from basic science that bats don’t like light…… FEAR doesn’t like light either. When I am fearful, just saying HIs word out loud, declaring His truth drives fear out!

2. I also turned on all the outside ceiling fans. Those bats will have a hard time flying into air that is blowing in the opposite direction. FEAR can’t exist when the wind of the Spirit is blowing. Fear envelopes us when the Holy Spirit is being quenched in our lives.

3. Then I waited patiently. I trusted that the sun would eventually come out and shine brighter. FEAR is no match for faith……a faith that waits patiently for the promises of the Lord.

By the time the Preacher opened the garage door to head off to work, the bats were almost gone! There were a few casualties lying dead on the downstairs back porch……but the rest flew off to find some other home…..a dark cave to sleep in until the sun went down.

When my mind is a dark cave…..void of His truths, His wind of the Spirit and faith…fear will reign. But fear, like bats can’t tolerate the light of His word, the wind of His spirit and a steadfast faith.

Choose to know His Word and speak it out loud on a regular basis…..and watch fear dissipate.
Feed His Spirit within you…..sing His praises out loud, serve others with joy and watch the wind of His spirit blow through your fears! And choose faith….even when it seems dark and dreary in your life… Him, wait upon Him! He is faithful and true!

Bat attack:  Fear attack…Conquered!  John 8:12; John 1:1-5; I John 4:18; James 1:22-25; II Timothy 1:7;  and  II Samuel 22:29

It’s raining……..again!

It’s raining outside…..again! The clouds and pouring rain reflect my mood as well as the mood of many in our nation.

From a Supreme Court decision, to burning churches, to more murders of innocent children by ISIS, to shark attacks and just dealing with everyday life stuff like leaking pipes………. I am overwhelmed with making decisions and getting things done.

We all have stuff to deal with and sometimes the “to do” list can be rather ominous especially when the world around us seems to be spinning out of control.

Years ago as a young pastor’s wife I was introduced to the writing of Elisabeth Elliot, wife to Jim Elliot, martyr for the sake of the gospel. Her books have influenced me more than any other author. She recently went home to her Heavenly Father.

So today as the rain and bad news come pouring down, I will remember the lessons Elisabeth Elliot taught me through this anonymous poem published in her book, Be Still My Soul.

Do The Next Thing

From an old English parsonage, Down by the sea,

There came in the twilight, A message to me;

Its quaint Saxon legend, Deeply engraven,

Hath, as it seems to me, Teaching from Heaven.

And on through the hours The quiet words ring Like a low inspiration-


Many a questioning, many a fear,

Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.

Moment by moment, Let down from Heaven,

Time, opportunity, Guidance, are given.

Fear not tomorrows, Child of the King, Trust them with Jesus,


Do it immediately; Do it with prayer;

Do it reliantly, casting all care;

Do it with reverence, Tracing His Hand,

Who placed it before thee with Earnest command.

Stayed on Omnipotence, Safe ‘neath His wing, Leave all resultings,


Looking to Jesus, ever serener,

(Working or suffering) Be thy demeanor,

In His dear presence, The rest of His calm,

The light of His countenance Be thy psalm,

Strong in His faithfulness, Praise and sing,

Then, as He beckons thee, DO THE NEXT THING

-Author unknown

Sometimes the next thing is just calling the repairman for the leaking pipes or sweeping the floor of the kitchen or changing a dirty diaper.  Other times doing the next thing is hitting my knees and calling out to the Lord for my family, my church family and our nation.  And always the next thing is being thankful for His faithfulness, His goodness, and His sovereignty even when my world is spinning out of control.

So as it pours rain on the 4th of July, when I wanted my next thing to be swimming in the pool with the kids, I will do the next thing by choosing joy in the rain!

What is your next thing??


Shirley Goodness and Her Husband, Mercy

At five years old I sat on the top bunk bed of my babysitter’s home memorizing Psalm 23.

My babysitter was a middle aged woman named Mrs. Friesner, a godly woman who loved Jesus and loved me. During my “nap time/quiet time” she told me to go over the words to Psalm 23 so I could recite them back to her. I could barely read at the time. She told me if I would memorize these words, the Lord would give me peace when I was afraid. And as a five year old who lived in a very unstable home, where yelling and throwing things was the norm, I believed her. So I was intent on committing Psalm 23 to memory.

So when I came to the last verse of the passage, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” well……let’s just say living in God’s house seemed so attractive to me. And in my 5 year old mind, I would love to have this nice lady Shirley Goodness and her husband, Mercy, follow me around! They would protect me and bring me to the house of the Lord. Shirley Goodness and her husband, Mercy became imaginary people to me!

So this past week as I stood with thousands of people called Southern Baptists singing Psalm 23 led by Shane and Shane…….the images of Mrs. Shirley Goodness and Mercy came to mind.

When David wrote Psalm 23 he was living in the Valley of Elah………a pretty harsh place, mostly desert.

Just recently I had stood in the Valley of Elah with a small group of believers. My husband sang this Psalm to the Lord with his hands lifted as a prayer to the Lord. (picture above)

David wrote this psalm as he was being chased by his enemies.

We have so many enemies today……….mine are fear and anxiety. We have friends in another part of the world whose enemies are people……evil people ready to kill them in an instant, rape their daughters and wives or enslave their children.

Some may read verse 6 and say well, God is not doing a very good job lately of allowing Shirley Goodness and Mercy to follow his people. (i.e.….the senseless murders in Charleston, SC )

Yet, I believe as those precious 9 people worshipped and studied God’s word they were led by Goodness and Mercy right to the throne room of the living God and they are now dwelling in the house of the Lord forever and ever. I believe as their enemy entered that church building that a table was prepared for them and their heads were anointed with oil. If our world has any hope of a spiritual awakening we must truly believe His words and live His words. May this senseless act push all of us to show others goodness and mercy!

I truly believe when we as believers begin to show others God’s mercy and goodness, even when it is undeserved, that a movement of His Spirit will be unleashed in our world.

Who are your enemies today? Psalm 23 maybe very familiar to you, yet His words are so very, very powerful. Mrs. Shirley Goodness and Mr. Mercy…….well they do follow me……and they are continually leading me to abide in the house of the Lord……in Him.

I challenge you to spend sometime today meditating and praying through Psalm 23. You may just meet Shirley Goodness and her husband, Mercy! And then make sure you introduce them to someone else!

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