Tag - repentance

One Year Later
The Getaway Ship!

One Year Later

It was a year ago that Preacher and I stood on the stage of a mega church in front of thousands of people and said our good-byes as their Senior Pastor and his wife.   It was a bittersweet day for me. Bitter because I truly loved being a senior pastor’s wife, and sweet because we were saying “Yes” to the Lord by choosing obedience to a new calling on our lives……..serving Him through Life Action Ministry.  

This past year has been a roller coaster of emotions for me as God has both revealed things to me about myself and reminded me of truths through the lives of those serving Life Action.  

  • Confession:   Being the senior pastor’s wife caused me to become an addict – I have confessed these addictions before the Lord and He has graciously forgiven me.  My addictions: Attention and Power.  If my addictions have ever offended you,  please forgive me. Years under the spotlight caused me to lose sight of the sixteen year old girl who humbly walked down an aisle,  took a pastor’s hand and committed her life to serve the Lord. No human being should ever be placed on the throne that only has room for One – Christ.
  • Truth: Servanthood    People working at Life Action are among God’s choice servants.   Their lives are characterized by what Life Action calls our six responses to God:   Humility, Honesty, Repentance, Forgiveness, Obedience, and Seeking God’s Kingdom First.  Over and over I have witnessed these six responses demonstrated in their lives. Women who choose to raise a family in a RV nine months out of year as they serve churches across the USA.   Communicators and musicians so gifted that they could serve the Lord from any stage, yet choose to serve churches of various sizes so that they may experience a reviving work of God’s presence.  
  • Confession:   When we walked away from the mega church, we also walked away from a very large salary.  Although our church agreed to support us for a season, we were walking toward a “no salary” position.  In other words, we had to raise our own support. We became full-time missionaries. The Lord used this as a reminder of the commitment I had made to him when I was sixteen – a commitment to serve Him as a missionary.  He had been preparing me for this for forty years. I was in a completely new situation – sitting with someone and sharing with them about our new adventure and asking them to support us financially. This proved to be quite a challenge for me, but through it God taught me humility and reminded me that He was always my True Provision.   
  • Truth:  Faith     People at Life Action are people of faith.   This past year I have witnessed families who live on very limited budgets, yet do not hesitate to sacrificially to give to others in need.  There are families who adopt children that the world would cast aside. Grumbling and complaining are rare while praying is a way of life.

Our mission at Life Action is “to inspire your next Yes to God.”   When we say “yes” to something, it usually requires us saying “no” to something else.   This past year I have said “Yes” by following Him in obedience and it did require me saying “no” to pride, control, selfishness and bitterness.    God has begun a new work in my heart and I am so grateful to Him and to Life Action Ministry.

My prayer for you today is that you will choose to “Say YES to God.”   Is He asking you to forgive someone? Is He asking you to be honest with yourself and admit you are addicted to something…power, attention, food, gossip, a negative attitude, or maybe social media?   

This past weekend I hiked up to Grotto Falls in the Smoky Mountains.  As I observed the rushing water flow over the rocks into the pool below, the Lord whispered into my heart “Refreshment comes when you confess your sin and turn to me.”    Sin is choosing our way over God’s way. Are you choosing to do life your way and not God’s way?

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”  Acts 3:19

If Life Action or I can serve you or your church in any way, it would bring us great joy.  Preacher’s motto during this last year has been: “I am just His servant.” I just love that man!  So excited to serve alongside him at Life Action as a servant to the Most High God!




The Getaway Ship!

I’ve been away from Rocky Top this last week. Been floating on the wide open sea in a ship named Getaway. I needed to get away…..from people, Alzheimer’s, critics and such. But once I got away I realized I needed to get away from me.

Right before I boarded the getaway boat, I went to see a movie, WAR ROOM.   See all I wanted to get away from was battles I thought I was fighting. The battle of hoping others will accept me and like me; the battle of the disease that is slowly killing my mother and controlling much of my time; the battle of unsolicited negative opinions. Sounds pretty awful doesn’t it?

Yet, my life is so rich and full……full of a husband that loves me, children who love me and are contributing to society and actually loving Jesus, grandchildren, who are perfect (don’t argue this one); friends who know me and still love me,  abundant opportunities to serve others, and a wonderful church family!

I do have an enemy that I do constant battle with…His name is Satan. BUT what I realized this week is that my biggest enemy is myself……my pride, my fear, my disobedience, my selfishness.   My first strategy in battle was to confront ME……quit making excuses for the lack of prayer, the selfishness, and the lack of grace for everyone but me and mine.

So on the floor of the getaway boat; I spent time confessing and repenting. Then I stood up ready to see others through eyes…eyes of grace. I also stood up to realize that my encounter with Alzheimer’s could be an opportunity and not a curse. A very wise friend once told me that when God interrupted her life, she met people she never would have met,  went places she never thought she would go and experienced things she never would have otherwise.

We think we want our life to be on a cruise ship……someone making our bed every day, making cute little animals with towels, cooking for us, spraying us with cool water when we are hot and bringing us a glass of lemon water every few hours. Cruise ship living is nice for a week or so and we all need a vacation but after five or so days of cruise ship living I’m ready for REAL life.

God created us and died for us so that we can glorify Him and increase His kingdom. He receives glory when we are in battle and have to rely on His strength to face difficult people and difficult circumstances.

Somehow in the American church we have come to believe that if we are on a cruise ship and all is well that we must be living our life right before God. Yet, according to God’s word we are most like Christ when we are suffering. Elisabeth Elliot’s definition of suffering is “having something you don’t want or wanting something you don’t have.”

Paul said “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings becoming like him in his death…”  Philippians 3:10-11   This is not cruise ship living. This is War Room, Battleship living!! How exciting!

So with a repentant heart, a new perspective of the battles in front of me and a refreshed spirit, I left the Getaway ship to come home and live on Rocky Top, excited to fight the battles on my knees that He so graciously allows in my life so that I can experience Him in a new way,

And by the way…………THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME! Good ol’ Rocky Top!

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