Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year

Good morning! Seems like forever since I have been at church. I miss my church kids!! Remember we do not meet this Wednesday, Jan. 1. I look forward to seeing all my kids in Sunday school next Sunday & we will be back to our old schedule of children’s church right after the singing is over. Thank you Lauren Ayres for teaching for me yesterday!
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a safe and blessed New Year. We had a great Christmas. I guess like many of you, I look at January as a new fresh start. I challenged those of you not in Sunday school to get into a Sunday school class back in September. I said give it 3 weeks of getting up early, not missing and it would be a habit. I know one family that took that challenge and I think if you asked them they would say they are glad they started Sunday school.  If you want to be involved in church, Sunday school is where to start. SS allows you a time to build relationships with others in the church. You learn their needs & situations, they learn yours. Your relationship grows as you learn about Jesus together. You can pray for each other. Even in a child’s SS class, the same is true. Children get to know each other better. The teacher gets to know the child better & pray for specific things that a child might need or be concern or afraid of. Sunday school is where the basic Bible stories are taught & where the foundation is laid. So I am going to send out the challenge again. Start the New Year in Sunday school. You will not regret the decision.
I am also going to challenge you to invite people to church. I was blessed to watch the fruits of a child being invited to VBS this summer. One of our church kids invited a friend to VBS. The girls moved up to youth this school yr. so the original church girl & her friend went to Winter Extreme. The “friends” parents went to Gburg to so they could be in the same town while their daughter was on the trip. So while we were at Ober the parents came up there too. Joey was there and spent almost the entire time while we were at Ober talking to the parents. Not preaching, just talking and getting to know the family. Yall know I am the quiet one so I chimed in just a little bit. When Joey walked off to go do something, the man asked me who he was & how we were related. I explained he was our churches preacher & my brother. He said, “Wow, he just seemed like a regular, old, laid back guy.” I said he is & that is how he preaches. He was very inquisitive about church & so was the wife. I later got to sit at lunch w/ the mans’ daughter and ask her if they go to church somewhere regularly. She said no. The only time she goes to church is at ours w her friend or with a grandmother. Arlo said the parents were so nice & offered to help w/ the next thing the youth does.  Now I know none of this is the person actually walking into our church & turning their life over to Jesus but…. I do know that family left knowing the preacher at WBBC and they had a good, growing relationship w/ Arlo and that is a huge start in getting someone to come to visit your church. So what started out as a 5th grade girl inviting a friend to VBS ended up w/ the friend & her sister participating in youth events at Winter Extreme and the girl’s parents developing relationships w our church family.  I am not a gambler but I am going to bet that family ends up at WBBC! We have to step out, open our mouths and invite people to church.  In most cases they will not just drive down the road and say,”Hey, let’s visit that church.” In most cases they have to know someone at the church before they are going to walk thru the doors. I know it is hard to just cold invite someone to church… believe me I know because being shy it is hard for me. I would struggle just inviting a stranger but if I can find something in common with a person, make some small talk & get to know them better then it is easier for me to invite someone. So I am challenging you to get out & invite those you already have relationships with.  You might be the person God uses to lead them to Him.
Most of you know Winter Extreme was this past Fri, Sat. & Sun. I believe Arlo hauled 56 people up there plus there were several other church families up there to hang out with the students during the free time.  I know the stress involved in planning church trips and you worry the whole time you are gone if you are going to lose a child or if something is going to happen while you are on the trip, if you are over budget or you worry for your own children who you left at home. Arlo and Jeannie did a great job on this trip. My boys talked nonstop last night about the fun, about the music and about the conference speakers. Thank you to the chaperones who went & to the church family who supports our youth. Without your tithes, fundraiser support & prayers, trips for the youth and children’s groups would not be possible. I am sure the youth will have a Sunday soon to share their stories. Thank you again Arlo & Jeannie! My boys have been blessed to have you as their youth leaders!
I am almost done! I wanted to just ask yall to pray for mom as she has her heart cath Jan. 10 at St.Vincents East. The Gburg trip was a huge struggle for her. Her breathing is so bad. She only left the house to go eat & that was with us letting her out at the front door & her walking w/ her oxygen attached. She is miserable. Keep the Mayos in your prayers to as they depart for Africa in about 9 days. Pray for travel safety and that God places Christians in their path.  I hope you have a very blessed New Years and I look forward to a great New Year full of blessings, new faces, hearts saved, baptisms & new members at Whorton Bend Baptist Church!
Let's meet right after church Sunday about the Disney World trip... be thingkning of fundraisers!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

Good morning! I am up early, probably like most of you, with a list of things to do & places to be. It was so nice to come into church last night, relax and enjoy the show. I told Jami when we got home last night I thought the choir sounded better than ever.(I think I say that every time we have something special but I mean it) Their voices just made the sweetest sounds. Then there was Macy! I was so glad to hear her sing yesterday morning & last night. My momma has been asking all season, “When is that little blonde headed girl going to sing?” My momma was happy yesterday! Macy did such a great job singing Happy Birthday Jesus in the morning service. Even Jack yelled out from the back when she finished,”great job girl!” She did a great job last night singing Mary Did You Know. Mary Did You Know is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I guess as a mother that song hits home because many times I have thought how emotional it must have been during those days for Mary. It is emotional, stressful and scary just having a baby but can you imagine the excitement and the fear Mary experienced. She had to be scared not knowing what the world would hold for the ‘Savior”. I can only imagine the fear she experienced knowing King Herrod wanted her baby boy dead and then having to go on the run with a baby. I can’t imagine the pain, heartache and disbelief she experienced as she watched Jesus be beaten and crucified. God knew he was picking a special woman to be Jesus’s mother. I thought Leslie did a great job singing to baby Jesus. As I watched Macy & Leslie all I could think of is this is what Christmas is about. Coming together & praising Jesus. I would rather be in church with my family listening to a wonderful choir & hearing the Christmas story than unwrapping gifts any day. Don’t get me wrong, I love gifts & I will not turn one down but they so pale in comparison to the gift I have already been given! Jesus is amazing & I am so thankful & blessed He lives in my heart & in the heart of my husband & children. I pray you have received the gift of Jesus! Wayne Fotenberry… you did a great job pulling last night together. It has been a blessing to get to know you over the last few years and we are very blessed to have you step in for Randy.  The Lord’s Supper was great too. It is always special, but I could hear Jami quietly telling Jack what each thing was and why we do this and that. Jami must have asked Jack a question and I could hear him say Jesus. There is just something so special hearing a child say Jesus. My heart was so full! It was a perfect night!
I wanted to make sure everyone knew that we do not have Wednesday night services for Dec. 25 & Jan. 1. Wednesday night children’s church will resume Jan. 8 at 6 pm. I will not be at church Dec. 29 but Lauren Ayres will be teaching my Sunday school class. There will be no children’s church. That will resume Jan. 5. Please be in prayer for the youth & chaperones as they travel this week. They leave out Friday morning & will come home Sunday night. Be in prayer for any heart that might be lost. We also have a lot of church folks sick. Please be in prayer for them. Be in prayer for those who ring the Salvation Army bell today. We want the love of Jesus to shine thru us and people really see something different when they look at us! I also wanted to thank who ever got the youth mission center service project together. My boys came home with great stories. Judson said he walked into a room nervous because he was supposed to serve drinks to the “less fortunate” and he was scared because they looked rough & some looked mean. I know God took control of that situation & gave him the courage to do what he was there for & he said when he asked the people if they would like a drink that the faces changed & the people were so nice & humble. I am so thankful my boys got to experience helping others. Thank you to Arlo for doing all the butts & ribs. You work hard for our students and I am so thankful for your dedication and commitment!
As a final thought, I am so blessed to call you all my church family. Many of you have become close friends. Each of you are special to me. I love my church kids & their families and I am so blessed to know each of you. I look forward to a new year, getting to know some of you more and watching to see how God moves in your family’s lives. I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week Before Christmas Message

Good morning! Let me start out by apologizing for not blogging last week. It was a crazy week. I was so proud of the job out angels did performing Hark the Herald Angel. I know they made their families proud. I didn’t get to thank those who helped me with the play last week so I am going to do that now. Ashley Fortenberry did a great job directing & teaching the kids the music. She is so talented. My aunt Debbie said she got a kick out of watching Ashley move those hands & arms directing. We need to get her up to sing in the adult choir! She has a great voice! When we discussed costumes I said I would like some sashes. Catherine McBurnett & Candace Harwood shocked me with the most beautiful sashes. They were handmade & perfect!! They made the costume. Thank you to Bruce & Wendy Benefield for making our painting our sign & Tom Coley for building it. Thank you to Tyla, Courtney & Teresa for whatever I needed. They helped watch kids, change costumes, build a manger & serve supper. Thank you to Arlo for recording the program and providing us with copies. If you still need one there are a few on the table in the hall. (WE NEED TO DISCUSS YOU HAVING ME ON IN THE BEGINNING…THE KIDS MADE FUN OF MY HAND MOVEMENTS & CONSTANT FEET SHUFFLING…NEXT TIME LEAVE ME OFF PLEASE!)Thank you to those who supplied snacks for practice, brought in decorations & those who handled getting the desserts set up. I am so thankful to God for each individual who took part in helping making “Hark” a successful night. I pray that someone who saw it got a little bit of Jesus that night & the seed has begun to grow!
I forgot to mention the Santa Breakfast when I did announcements yesterday. Thank you to Catherine & Candace for the decorating! They did a fabulous job! Santa did a great job too. He is such a special man & has a huge heart for children! Thank you to the cooks… Bruce Free, Wayne Fortenberry & Wayne Patterson. They were up early & they worked hard! Thank you to Josh, Glenda, Lindsey, Teresa, Debbie & our youth for helping too! For a rainy cold morning, we had a great turn out. Some people did not show up but we had 80+ there with many visitors. It was a great morning.
The children will have a Christmas party this Wed. night 6-7 in the gym. I’ll pick up the cupcakes & I’ll message everyone else & see if they can bring something. It will be a fun night; we’ll eat, play a few reindeer games & sing a few “fun carols”.
During Sunday school, this coming Sunday we will learn the story of the “Birth of Jesus.” This is a very special lesson so please have your children in SS. There will be no children’s church that Sunday, Dec. 22 or the Sunday after, Dec. 29.

We have one more night to sing. This coming Sunday night, December 22, we will have a special evening service at 6:00. The adult choir will sing, Joey will read the Christmas story, we will partake in the Lord’s Supper & the children will sing one song. We practiced Away in a Manger yesterday during children’s church. Again, this is another great night to invite visitors to church.
I think this is the last thing. Dec. 23, we are down to ring the Salvation Army bell at the Gadsden Mall fountain. This has turned into a wonderful tradition for the WBBC children & youth. Our hours are 10-8 and right now 10, 11 & 4 are taken. Please let me know what hour your family would like to sign up for. Most of the time the kids just jingle the bucket & parents watch from a bench. I have so many wonderful memories of children caroling while they collected money, I have seen a child show up dressed as Mickey Mouse, I have seen families share hours and bond together & I have had so many strangers walk up and complement our children for serving. Please don’t miss out on this…. You will be so blessed by participating. Let me know what hour you can fill!
I hope as you run from party to party this week, hit the stores for last minute gifts or for those who are just starting to shop that you’ll take time to remember that Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas. If you haven’t incorporated Jesus into your Christmas festivities at home, step out this year and start adding Him. Tell your kids this year on Christmas Eve we are going to sit around the tree and read the story of Jesus’s birth, ask the kids why Jesus is important to them, explain that the gifts are nice but the greatest gift was born to a virgin in a manger with animals, or be the one that speaks up before the Christmas meal and offers to bless the food. I think you’ll find as you add more Jesus year after year that the other things will fade in importance. I hope this is the most wonderful Christmas for the WBBC families!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Info

I am in Jack's preschool car line trying to type while I have few minutes. This will prob have all kind of errors but I wanted to get the next weeks plan out to y'all. I am pretty sure Leslie's ssclass will he in my room Sunday due to her dad's sickness. During preaching we will stay until choir finishes like we normly do. The children have been asked to sing 1 song Dec 22 at the evening candle light service, so we need to practice 1 song Sunday during Children's Church. I have no idea what song yet   . I had told the kids we would have a Christmas party this Sunday. I am moving that to next Wed night dec 18, 6-7. I'll send out a text & maybe some parents can send a treat. So I guess that a it. Let me know if your child will not be at church dec 22(evening) to sing. We will have no children's church Dec 22 morning.  Forgot also Salvation Army bell ringing dec 23 Gadsden Mall. Let me know to your family would like to sign up for 1 - hour shift. In need someone to teach my SS class Dec 29. They'll be no children's church that say either. Thanks!!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Super Quick Note

This is going tone super quick & if the week calms down I'll post on the play. Mom is in the hospital & my internet had been out so not a great Monday. Just wanted you to know that Katie will be teaching Wednesday night. Remember Santa Breakfast Saturday @ 9. If you haven't gotten tickets... wed is the last day. Y'all have a great week!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hark, The Hearld Angel Week is Here!!!!!

This is it. The week of the Christmas musical is finally here. I plan on making this a short blog post with the info you need to know for the rest of the week before I do that I have one message and I hope you will use it to encourage your children. Timothy 4:12 tells us to not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but to set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.  To me this means that just because you are young doesn’t mean you can’t do God’s work or make a difference in someone eternal life.  Our children have so much faith and have hearts full of so much love not just for God but for His people too. I challenge you this week, parents, as I challenge myself with my own children, to encourage the children. Tell them how loved they are, tell them how much God loves them, tell the children they can make a difference in this world by letting people see God in them, tell them you are proud of their efforts on with the musical, tell them how proud you are that they are willing to participate. . Let them know that age doesn’t matter when you are working for God. I have told the children since we started “Hark” and in the years past, people will come to church to see children sing and perform when they will not come to church for anything else. Let’s use this opportunity to make sure our kids know just the act of singing about God and putting on a performance might be the only time someone hears about Jesus. They might be the reason that someone’s life is changed! How awesome is that? I know some of you might doubt me but I have seen it happen. I have seen people never come to church except when the kids perform & I have seen families changed just because a child was in church and they encouraged their parents to come too. It just takes one time for someone to hear God’s message and the seed is planted. So this week pray for your children & encourage them.
I woke up last night at 1:30 to Jack’s screams. I guess he was having at nightmare. After he fell back to sleep all I could think about was the musical. I found myself singing the songs and my mind running over and over about how to decorate the stage. I still don’t know when or what I am going to do but as soon as I do I’ll send out a message to see if I can get some help. Thank you to Wendy & Bruce for painting one of our props. It turned out great! Catherine McBurnett did a great job on Gabriel’s scroll too. Be in prayer for her as she works on sashes this week. I know she has had the flu, Josh has the flu plus they had the wreck so I know she is feeling some stress, or at least I would be!  Thank you to Tyla & Courtney for assembling the manger for me, or almost assembling ! haha. If you could see all the pieces & the instructions & how it fell back apart you all would laugh too! Thank you to Ashley Fortenberry who has so much musical talent! Practice would be a mess without her, especially since I can’t sing nor read music!  On a plus side, I am learning how to work the sound board (I think that is the term for that thing) this year! I hope everyone has their white robes by now, if you do not please let me know ASAP!!  I know the robes are see thru so please have your child wear something under them. I would prefer something white, maybe a white t-shirt or turtleneck & either white bottoms or very light colored shorts. We want to maintain the look of WHITE!!!! On their feet just wear white tall socks. no shoes. White tights might work well for the girls.  REMEMBER Looking for a SOLID WHITE appearance. The children need to be at church no later than 5:30, DRESSED IN THEIR COSTUME Sunday night Dec. 8.  We have practice Wed. night from 6-7 in the sanctuary. Friday night is dress rehearsal. The children need to be at church at 6:00. I had said we will be finished at 8 but I am changing that to 8:30. They will be fed a pizza supper.  Many kids have missed the extra practices which we have done in the sanctuary so it is very important they are there Wed. & Friday night because they are not going to know where to enter from, where to stand, when to move to the nativity set/costume change or how & when to use the mics.  If your child has a speaking part please make sure they get it memorized by Wed. Kids are always so nervous when they get on the stage, having the confidence that they know their lines & where to be when will really help them feel better about the performance. Please continue to have your child practice the songs. Thank you for your dedication to this musical! I do know making extra practices has not been easy but I appreciate yall supporting me in this! I want to encourage you, just as I encouraged the children last night to get out and invite people.  I had mentioned in several posts that I would like to offer refreshments when we finished with the musical. I would love for the children to have time to mingle with visitors & the children socialize with those who came out to support them. So let’s plan on desserts & drinks in the gym. Nothing fancy, just a table with desserts & drinks & people can help themselves. I can get every parent to bring a dessert & a 2 L drink or a tea. Let me know if you can help & their might be some parents that do not have kids in the musical who would bring too. I think the musical will last about 30-40 minutes & then refreshments so we should be out of church no later than 7:30. I can’t think of anything else about that night.
Breakfast with Santa is Dec. 14, 9am in the gym. This year I am using tickets so I can better plan for the purchase of food. The tickets are free but you must have a ticket to enter. Please get with me to get your tickets. Breakfast will probably be pancakes, bacon, sausage and fruit. Santa will be available for pictures. Feel free to bring a camera. We will have someone available to take pics if you are not able too. I am striving for a more organized breakfast than last yrs. so this year as you request tickets I am assigning a number to them & that number will be called for you to go have your picture taken with Santa. There will also be a few doors prizes. I know as usual I am all over the place with this stuff but my mind is running in circles a little more than normal. I wonder if Lauren Ayres or Brandi Johnson has one of those essential oils that are supposed to help you focus... I don’t know the name of it but I need to rub it all over my head! Invite people to the Santa breakfast too. Get some extra tickets! I know I have left something out on the breakfast too!
I was so proud of our youth who gave up a HUGE Iron Bowl game to so work for Operation Christmas Child. I know the youth had a great time bonding & working on such an awesome mission! My boys said the boxes they worked on were going to Madagascar. Isn’t it just amazing to know our youth’s hands were on boxes going to Africa & to know that they touched something that a child will touch who might have never known about Jesus without the mission of ‘Operation Christmas Child”. Thank you to Arlo, Jennie, Teresa, the adults from Riverbend & the youth from WBBC & Riverbend for stepping out of what would be the “Southern Football Saturday Norm” and being the hands & feet of Jesus.
One last thought….As “Gabriel” said last night,” You might be the only Jesus someone sees!’  So I encourage you to get this week and make a difference!! Be the hands & feet of Jesus!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Week

Can you believe it is Thanksgiving week? This year has flown by. Thank you to all who were able to bring your children to practice yesterday and a huge thank you to the parents who stayed with Ashley. I enjoyed my time with my family & didn’t have to worry about anything at church. I am thankful God brought Ashley to us and that she knows about music. Hark, The Herald Angel would be a mess without her! Yall have heard me complain about how Jack is a much different child that the twins & how I have struggled with him just to get a car ride prayer in, but yesterday I felt like after all these weeks of constant correcting & pushing the way we act when we pray, we finally reached success. Bruce Carr was praying before we ate yesterday at my parents & Jack was silent the entire time!! Not a peep was made! YEAH!
Hark is coming together & I am getting very excited. The kids just need to keep on working on the songs & those with lines & solos need to memorize them. They are doing a great job. Costumes were passed out yesterday morning. See me Wednesday if you did not get your child’s. Remember we have practice Wed. from 10-12. I know everyone cannot make it but please try. We have very few practices left. Next Sunday we will practice during the full preaching hour again & I had said we would practice that Sunday afternoon 3-5, but we have many kids who have a football/cheerleading banquet that day so I am going to push practice up until 4-6. After this upcoming Sunday’s practice all we have left is Wed. Dec 4 (we will practice in the sanctuary) preaching will be in the fellowship hall & then Friday Dec. 6 is the dress rehearsal, 6-8.  Props & decorations are coming together. The manger arrived & I have to figure out the instructions to assemble it (CRAZY WEIRD EXTREMELY DETAILED instruction s for a CARDBOARD MANGER!!!!), he halos are here & we will pass them out before the show. Catherine sent me the scroll picture last night & materials for sashes have been purchased. Thank you Catherine! Tom Coley built our street sign. It is perfect! Thank you Tom! I am delivering it today to Wendy & she will paint it. Thank you Wendy! I need a music director’s stand, one of those black ones that can be painted gold. Anyone got one of those? Snacks are going well for practices. Thank you Ackers for providing those yesterday.  I can’t think of anything else. If yall do post it on FB so people can see it. Remember Dec. 14 is Santa breakfast. Tickets will be ready Dec. 1.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week with your families, enjoy the kids being home for a few days, maybe some shopping & of course IRON BOWL SATURDAY!! I know everyone really focuses on the rushing to get this and that done, making sure the house is perfect, the decorations are perfect & that we buy the perfect gifts but try to take time this Thanksgiving & Christmas and remember that we are just so blessed just to have Jesus. Take some time and focus on him. Take some time to make sure your children know about him. Take the time to enjoy your families. I look forward to seeing yall Wednesday!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Woke Up Feeling Blessed

Good morning! In my opinion it just makes the week start better when Sunday is great! The youth did a great job yesterday, my Sunday school class was packed, and a relative rededicated her life to Christ, tons of children in choir practice and a great message and food last night. When you have an awesome Sunday you can’t help but get up with a great feeling on Monday morning. God really blesses us! I hope you all are feeling great today! I am super excited that some of the youth are going to ATL to help with the Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. This is such an awesome opportunity for them to participate in missions. I am so proud of those who said they would give up watching the Iron Bowl to go be God’s hands & feet! THANK YOU Arlo & Jennie for giving up your time to make this possible! It looks like we have tons of shoeboxes turned in & I plan on packing those up today & delivering tomorrow. I think it will be great next yr. that we can have some youth come talk to us about what they experienced helping with the boxes & give us some insight as to what goes on. Thank you to all who participated in Operation Christmas Child.
I wanted encourage all who can to come out to church this Friday night, 6 pm and shop with Rooted In Love. This ministry partners with gospel centered fair trade organizations to bring you items such as jewelry, purses and scarves. Come Christmas shop at church. You will take your items home that night, which is great for those who want to get gifts wrapped up and under the tree.  Courtney Jones is hosting this event & any earned hostess benefits are going to be turned around and used for the Disney Mission trip.  If you are unable to attend check out www.rooted then click on store. Make sure you use Courtney at checkout & the shipping cost will be removed.
Now to the kids’ stuff. I have ordered the angel costumes. There were only 2 sizes so I didn’t text anyone to get size info. I ordered some extra of each size. The children will need to wear a white long t-shirt under these robes because they are see thru.  PLEASE, PLEASE get your children listening to the music CD.  If you child has a speaking part please get it memorized. We practice Wed. night 6-7, Sunday during the full hour of preaching (or possibly 1 ½ hours depending on how long winded Joey is that day)lol. I know some of yall think … is he ever going to get finished. We take jabs at each other so ok for me to just come right out and say it. Lol. Anyway, I said we would practice this Sunday but completely forgot that we are having Thanksgiving at moms Sunday so I can’t make it. Ashley Fortenberry graciously said she would lead the music. Please send me a text and let me know whose children plan on being there, 3-5. I would like for a few moms or dads to stay with Ashley because just not safe for 1 woman and a lot of kids to be in an empty church alone. If you can help out please let me know. Then Wed. November 27, the kids will practice that morning from 10-12. Time is dwindling! I have one parent doing snacks on the Wed. 10-12 practice.  Would anyone like to volunteer to do a small snack & water or juice boxes for this Sunday afternoon practice? I also want us to have desserts and drinks available after the Christmas Musical. Would someone volunteer to organize that & make sure all set up. I can’t think of anything else at the moment. You’ll all probably get a text reminding everyone to read these because I need everyone aware of the extra practices.  If someone realizes I am missing something let me know. If I forgot Thanksgiving with my family it is entirely possible I am forgetting lots of other stuff. Have a great week, focus on Jesus & show up for Wednesday night practice. I’ll be looking for you there!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Thank you to all came to church early to meet with me yesterday about the musical & Santa breakfast. I am excited. I came home last night with the songs in my head & caught myself singing them this morning, so I think Ashley is right & that it just sounded bad to me because of the way the choir on the cd sounds. The more I hear our kid’s voices the better it gets. Thank you also for coming out in such cold weather last night. I know how easy it would have been to have stayed home, ate a bowl of soup & snuggled up on the couch. I appreciate your dedication & faithfulness.
Well, I lied last night. I said I would come home gather my thoughts during the night (when I have something going on, it turns over and over in my mind & I don’t sleep until I know what I want done) but when my head hit the pillow, I was gone. God just gives us what we need. I came home with my mind running in circles about what needs to be done & when & how on earth would it all get done and I actually slept hard all night (Jack didn’t wake me, nor did my bladder…YEAH!!) and I woke up feeling upbeat & more clear on what needs to be done.
So let’s run thru this. All kids are angels. I am ordering white robes for all kids Saturday. Catherine & Candace are going to make sashes for the angel choir. Ashley Davis brought the white lights in last night & the wings for Gabriel.  I am going to get with Randy & see if we can hang the background, which is white sheets with the white lights before that Sunday as long as we leave the choir chairs in place for that Sunday morning. I don’t think he will mind. It would be a huge help not to have to decorate after church that Sunday. Catherine is going to check & see if she has a bunch of white sheets if not we will need those. I have nativity costumes in my SS class so this Sunday I need to make sure I have enough for that. Mary, Joseph & the 3 Wise men need to try them on. Most kids have their CD so we need to really push learning that music. If the music is learned quickly then we can focus on details like the solos & script.  I sent out a text last night that Wednesday night before Thanksgiving there will be no church, but we can’t lose that practice time so I am going to call a special practice that morning from 10-12. I know everyone cannot make that, but I am trying to get a majority. As of right now I am going to call 2 extra Sunday practices at night November 24 & December 1. I am hoping 3:00-5:00 works for everyone. Again going for a majority because I know we all have all kinds of stuff going on right now. We really need to practice the whole hour on Sundays during preaching but this Sunday is “Youth Sunday” and I hate not to be in the service to support the youth so we will leave to go practice after they finish the music portion. The remaining Sundays we will into the choir room as soon as the adult choir heads into the sanctuary. No preaching for us until after musical is over.  Also, on the days were we having 2 hour practices which is a Wednesday & several Sunday nights would anyone be willing to donate some juice boxes and a snack so we can give the children a little break? We have about 30 children.
Santa breakfast is Dec 14, 9am.  I’ll have tickets ready Dec. 1 The breakfast is free but you must have a ticket to enter. Jeremy & Ashley Davis are going to man the ticket table & we will also have people sign in there because we want to gather info on those visiting.  I would love to have a door prize to encourage folks to register so if anyone can help out there that would be great! Todd Clough is going to be Santa again but he will not be coming on the fire truck because his hair was CRAZY last year.  It was like Sammy Hagar meets Santa! Lol Of course, the kids loved him. He has such a sweet spirit! Catherine is going to handle decorating the tree and the background. Catherine is also going to be our picture taker. I had mentioned a printer to print pics out immediately but I think the simplest thing to do would be just to offer if someone doesn’t have a camera to mail them the pic. If they take their own pictures them we will not have to worry about getting one printed out & mailed. Courtney said she would handle printing & mailing.  Wayne Patterson said he would help me cook breakfast & I bet I can talk Bruce Free & Arlo…. I know you are reading this right now, Arlo, into helping too.  Oh if anyone has connections to a reindeer or a horse & buggy that we can get free..that would be awesome too! Clydesdales, a white carriage, cold morning & a stroll through the Bend. Somebody remind me of that next year!!
Last thing! The night of the musical, December 8, I would love to have hot cocoa, coffee, drinks & desserts set up for the children, families & visitors. Would anyone volunteer to handle that? We could get church folks to make desserts.  ANYONE??? COME ON!! I think one of those kids’ songs says I want to be a VOLUNTEER!!! Lol
If anyone has a comment, better way of doing something, something I forgot post a comment on Facebook so we all can see it.  Thank you to the parents for making our children’s dept. possible. Without you bringing your kids to church there would not be a need for any of this. I pray as you go thru the busiest time of the year that you and your family are able to spend some time growing closer to God and focusing on the real meaning of Christmas, JESUS!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Whew... I am tired!

I have a lot to say tonight and a lot of time to do it since Jack is laid out sick & Jami is at work.(THANK YOU LORD for overtime) Let me first tell you how I decided on Hark the Herald Angel for the children’s Christmas musical. I browsed Christmas musicals over and over & kept coming back to hark. I envisioned the children as angels in a choir.  This musical was kind of old so it wasn’t set up for me to listen to any sample songs on line. Not wanting to order without listening I kept searching & kept being pulled back to hark. Then at church several Sundays ago, Ashley asked me what I was going to do. She said, without me mentioning my thoughts, that she thought about the kids being in an angel choir. BAM… there it was, what I thought was a sign from God. 2 people thinking of angels & I kept going back to the angel musical. So without hesitation I ordered the music even though I had never heard a song. I anxiously waited for the music. We should have begun practice last week. No music. I waited every day this past week. Finally, it came Friday. I ripped open the package, put that baby in the CD player & about threw up! Soooo not what I had envisioned. I sent Ashley a text & told her it was horrible. Yesterday I was telling Jami about how bad it was & I was going to have to take the story and use it but put other music with it & he asked to hear it. He had the same response. He laughed and wanted to know what possessed me to order a musical without hearing the music first. I blamed it on Ashley’s vision! Haha Today I get to children’s church prepared to let Ashley hear it, let her gag, and then us try to figure something out. After hearing those children sings the 1st 2 songs I think we are going with it. It sounded much better with our kids verses the high pitched singers on the cd. Ashley had a different perspective than me so I am going with my original feeling that Hark was meant for us. If they musical is really bad I’ll blame it on Ashley!!! Lol Just Kidding! I know it will be good!
So you parents know what to expect, everybody’s child is an angel. Some of the kids are nativity people also. (Requires costume change) Some have lines, some do not. I try to use the oldest kids first because they have less time left in the children’s dept.  and work my way down by grades. I will be ordering costumes by Friday. You will probably get a text from me this week with me asking if this size is correct.  Again, I need to stress practices. We are getting late start & the musical is 1 month from today. As this gets closer I will need some volunteers for different things and items. I know I’ll need help decorating because it will have to be done the day of the musical after church. I am in need of white sheets, white lights & tall columns. If you think you would like to help with the decorating part please let me know & we can get a group together to brain storm ideas. I’ll need some moms to help with quick costume changes too. After the musical I would like to have desserts & drinks for the children, families & visitors. Just a quick time to socialize. I’ need a volunteer to organize that.  More will come on the musical so I’ll get to the other kids stuff.
Saturday, December 14, 9 am will be the Breakfast with Santa. This is completely free but this year you will need a ticket to attend because we are growing so that I need away to know how many people to cook for. Trying to get pictures with Santa was chaotic last yr. due to so many people in the gym. This year you’ll be called to go up by the number on your ticket. If somebody can think of a better solution please let me know. You might have attended one at another church that handled that problem better. I am always up to hearing ways to improve an outreach. I could use some cooks to come in very early in the morning & help me cook pancakes, bacon & sausage.
We will also have a children’s Christmas party but I don’t have date yet for that. I know all your schedules are filling up like mine so as soon as I figure that out I will let you know; might be easier to just do it on a Wednesday night.
Every year I schedule the children’s dept.  to ring the Salvation Army bell at the mall. This has grown from just children to anyone who would like to participate. This year we are set to do that Monday December 23. The hours will be 10-8. Let me know if your family would like to work an hour shift.  I also like to go caroling to our church elders but let’s get thru November & then I’ll try to figure out a date on that! Whew!! Are yall already tired? I am! I know we are all swamped this time of the year but I just try to focus on every event, every outreach our church does as an opportunity to reach someone who might not know Jesus. I told my children this morning that I know practicing for the musical is not that much fun but them being in a musical draws family & friends in to see them & that just might be the way the seed gets planted.  Something as simple & worldly as a Santa breakfast might bring someone in with their child because it is free & they want their kid to see Santa. Along with Santa they will find a church full of welcoming, friendly faces, hospitality that nobody can beat, full tummies and hopefully they will feel comfortable enough to come visit us on a regular Sunday. Christmas carolers might be what a lonely elder needs to bring them a moment of happiness. So as you are tired, as you are saying can Kristi really schedule one more event, think of it as an opportunity to bring happiness to others, to invite someone to church, to help plant the seed of Jesus & to share the miraculous birth story! I know our world wants us to focus on gifts, the decorating & the feel like I got to buy it all for my kids but take time to reflect and remember who this holiday is all about. Make sure your children know who it is all about. Presents are great, believe me I love presents, but there is nothing more important that knowing Jesus. I know I said this was long & yes I probably left something out. Be in prayer for all our events. We want to reach others! For those of you who have served this great country, THANK YOU and enjoy your day tomorrow!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sharing Some Thoughts

I had to post early & share these thoughts with you. As a parent trying to raise Christian sons, sometimes things can be difficult or trying.  The twins have grown up in church. They have always gone to Sunday school & Wednesday nights. As toddlers they sat in preaching without making a sound. Church has never been an issue. They knew they were expected to go and that was it. They prayed from an early age and even wanted to ask God into their hearts at an early age. They did ask Jesus into their hearts when they were both 9. They twins pray all the time. They pray before they have a snack, before a meal & in the car going to school. So this morning the prayer seemed a little rushed & not so heart felt. I asked then both do you mean your pray or is it just a formality now. I really thought the answer was going to be well you have always made us do it.. So we just do it. With a little prodding I started asking prayer questions. Do you pray other times during the day? What do you pray about? I have this fear that I have made them be “religious” and what I want is for them to have their own personal relationship with God. Thankful, so far my fear was wrong. They each started to explain to me that yes they do pray a lot of regular prayers over their food or our morning ride to school but that they also pray in silent at school, say a blessing at lunch without me, pray when they go to bed. Each one said they pray to God when they feel a need or trouble. Sounds like a personal relationship to me. Now on to Jack. He only wants to go to church to play basketball! Prayer with him has been much more difficult as well as sitting in church. I know some of you have noticed that! Lol He half says his prayer at night & I have to make him resay it every night.  Our prayer in the car with him on the way to school is nothing like the calmness I want it to be. I am repeatedly telling him to bow his head, praying is serious. He refuses to say amen some mornings. This morning was another one of that morning. He said nothing when I said amen. I prompted him, “Jack say Amen”. NO! In my “mother is telling you to do it now” voice I told him he better say it.  Finally, I got a soft amen, He asked about Santa the other day & I thought this is a great time to try to explain that yes presents are great but the real reason for Christmas is the birth of Baby Jesus.  He looked to the sky and I said God is up there, & he said nope Santa is! Anyway, times can be trying when we parents are trying to explain this stuff to little ones, sometimes even older ones but I know that I am doing the right thing. One day it will all click for him & he’ll ask Jesus into his heart…. Until then I am relying on my favorite verse for parenting; Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it Proverbs 22:6. I hope yall have a blessed Thursday!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Operation Christmas Child & Christmas Musical Info

Good morning! I am going to try and be super quick today. Yesterday, I sent a letter home with some of the children who were at church. Today I am going to cover that letter again because it seemed like we had a lot of children out. This Wednesday night the children will be packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to show God’s love in a tangible way to needy children in 130 countries & together with the local church to share the good news of Jesus Christ. This is a wonderful mission project for our children and I thank you for allowing your child to be involved! We already have the premade shoeboxes so you do not need to scramble for a box. If your child would like to participate you need to decide on a boy or girl & purchase items for that child. Suggested items are a toothbrush & paste, soap & a washcloth, small toys like a ball, cars, truck, doll, musical instrument, jump rope or stuffed animal, flashlight w/ batteries, school & coloring supplies, hair accessories such as a brush, comb, and pony tail holders, t-shirt, flip flops & hard candy. You can check out Samaritan’s purse for more suggestions. Please do not purchase any military items, guns or aerosol sprays.  Bring those items to church Wednesday night W/ 7.00 check or cash to cover the shipping.  I am very aware that times are tough for some right now so if you can’t afford the $7.00 don’t worry about it the church will cover it. Also, if you can’t purchase items, don’t worry; send your child on to church. We always have parents who bring in extra & I have a box of toys too that can be used. As of right now, I will not be at church Wednesday night, but I have some supper moms ready & willing to help the children pack their shoeboxes. They are experienced shoebox packers so they know exactly what to do! Lol If for some reason your child cannot make it to church Wed. but still wants to do a shoebox, let me know & I’ll save you a box. You would still have time to turn one in the following Wednesday.
Now on to the Christmas musical! I was reading this morning from Matthew about the magi visiting baby Jesus & King Herrod wanting to kill him and the angel coming to Joseph in his dream & telling him to flee with Mary & Jesus to Egypt. That had to be a scary time for them. Thankfully, Christmas is a wonderful time for us. I love watching the children perform & I always love to see the children portray the nativity scene.  I am still waiting on our music to arrive & plan on calling Lifeway today to check on it. We will begin practice Sunday whether the music arrives or not. I have the director’s guide & all the speaking parts so if our CD doesn’t come I will find other music. This year the musical is called “Hark, The Herald Angel” and your sweet babies will all be dressed in white and will be part of the angel choir. I have to either order angel robes or have them made so I need to know for sure if your child will be participating. Children will start being measured Sunday & the following Wednesday night.  We will practice every Sunday during children’s church & Wed. nights from now until December.  Friday night, December 6 will be the dress rehearsal & I need everyone to write that date down & make sure your child is available. The musical will be Sunday night, December 8. I hope you will encourage your child to be involved in this!!
I just have to comment on Jenny Clough’s singing yesterday. Didn’’t she just blow the room up??? I have never heard her sound better & you could feel God’s sweet spirit moving throughout the church! Then to hear Ming Yu accepted Jesus into her heart! WOW, what a Sunday at WBBC! I am so thankful for our church family! WBBC is truly a blessed place and as long as we keep Jesus as our focus and center of the church then I know we have many more great Sundays coming!
I have a few prayer requests. Pray for Tina Patterson’s mother. She is in the hospital.  Please remember baby Jayce. He is a 1 yr. old on the verge of passing. His family is from Southside and this baby has gone thru numerous surgeries, a liver transplant & things just aren’t getting any better for him.  Please pray for the 51 people who signed up for door prizes at trunk or treat who stated that they do not have a church home. I personally called all the women in the stack & sent letters to every one of those people.  I ask that you pray that my calls & letters left a yearning for them to feel the need to visit a church so they can get to know Jesus or either gets back involved with a local church. Thank you to those who prayed for me as I called people last week. I told you I am shy but with each call, God supplied my words. Everyone I spoke with was so kind and thankful to our church for the trunk or treat! I hope you all have a fabulous fall week! Happy November!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Trunk or Treat

Before I even begin I want to give praises to God because he is the provider, the doer, he one who placed each one of us together & the one who knows how it will all play out. I am so thankful for each of you. I can't even begin to name everyone who helped with the trunk or treat. Everything was covered from the chili, the bake sale, signs, paper supplies, serving in the kitchen, cleaning the kitchen, donations, grilling hot dogs, popcorn, games, faces & hair painted, watching over inflatables, help decorating & moving hay & tables, last minute food running, awesome trunks, awesome costumes, great hayrides, crazy good music & smiling, friendly faces all night to visitors. As usual our church people step up and get the job done & it is done with a love and joy that only comes from having God in your hearts. God has blessed us by bringing us together. I hope you feel that way too. Several times that night I was overwhelmed. I couldn't believe the crowds & that we ran out of food! Then I went over to the music and heard them singing & playing & I don't even remember the song, I just remember feeling wow, I can't believe God has done this and I had to walk away because I was about to cry. That same over whelming feeling happened 2 more times that night. I ran into someone who has been at WBBC for yrs. & I saw the same look in his face that I have seen before & I knew he was about to cry too. We just composed ourselves & talked about how it was so unbelievable that so many people were at our little church. I just think back to the first time I went to an event at WBBC and I remember so clearly my feeling of the devil and not wanting to be at that church & finding everything in the world wrong with it and to know where I have been, and where I am now and just thank you God for what you have done. I sit in amazement! I love my church family and I love how you gave trunk or treat all you had, how you were so welcoming to visitors, how you smiled & told people about food in the kitchen and oohed and awed over children's costumes, and how you really did great jobs on your costumes & trunks. Y'all are so awesome & God knew WBBC was in need of people willing to do what it took. He brought y'all to the church & you began to serve! Then there was the music. I wasn't in front of the band much but I could hear them. The times I was over by them I saw a few hands in the air, and youth and a few adults dancing. It was great to hear music praising God flowing throughout the area! I know the group practiced like crazy! It was also great to have a few of our youth sing. We are blessed with all kinds of talent at WBBC! It seemed like most of the crowd was very appreciative too. Everyone was nice to me when I was telling them we were out of food but we would have some more in just a few minutes. I looked thru the slips of paper this morning where people had written their info down to register for the door prizes. I was surprised at the area our trunk or treat  reached. We had visitors from Glencoe, RBC, Attalla, South Gadsden, Southside & even Altoona. Many people who registered attended other local churches but I think the great thing was that we had 51who plainly said they did not attend church & one guy said he was looking for a church to visit! I am sure there was others who didn't even register who do not have a church too. Those who are unchurched came into a church parking lot looking for food & fun. What they got was friendliness, warmth, kindness, generosity & a glimpse at the joy we have inside because of He who is in or hearts, plus fun and full tummies! Serving the people & being the light is what it is all about. I intend on contacting those 51 people this week so please be in prayer for me as I speak to some & mail notes to others. I need words to come out of my mouth when I speak to strangers...remember I am shy! Thank you again for how you represented our church. I am already thinking ahead to next year & how we can improve. If you have some ideas please share them with me! I hope you enjoyed the night as much as I did!

Now to the kids. This Wed. night we will have a lesson on fear & how God can help us conquer our fears, then we will have a fire & make smores.  I can use a few moms to help with watching kids around the fire. The children will start practicing for the Christmas musical Sunday during children's church. Our program will be Dec. 8, 6 pm. I'll be sending home a note Sunday with some info about that & about costumes. We will be packing shoeboxes November 6 for the Operation Christmas child mission project. I'll include the items needed for those boxes in this Sundays note. My brain is fried today & I can't think of anything else right now. I did leave out that the bake sale made $340 & that will be donated to the youth trip! Thanks for all who baked, bought & worked! That was a great success!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Trunk or Treat Week

As I drove up towards the church yesterday morning the thing I noticed was the trees around the cemetery. They had turned from boring green to vibrant shades of reds & oranges. It was such a beautiful sight. Isn't it great that God wants us to see beautiful things!
In children's church yesterday we discussed fear & faith. We specifically talked about Daniel being faithful to God & ending up in the lions den. I asked kids things they were afraid of & got the usual, spiders, bugs, the dark & heights. We will be discussing fear in  more depth on Oct. 30 during  a special Wed. night lesson. What I wanted the kids to take from the lesson yesterday was if we are faithful to God and do what right, such as Daniel praying, God will take care of us. I know so many church people are anti facebook, but I go on there this morning and there was a friend posting Psalm 118:6 which says The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do to me? Coincidence? I don't think so. So if you are fearing something today& for us adults unfortunately I am sure it is bigger fears than bugs, spiders or the dark, more likely finances, health issues, divorce or marital troubles, children troubles, addictions & abuse, but remember you have no need to fear because God is on your side.

I also wanted to comment on the benefit for Haley Smith last night. It was such a blessing to see so many people come out and show Haley & her family some love. The group who sang did a great job on some old classics & Kate Falcon has a beautiful voice. The Pleasant Valley youth did a great job on the skits. It was a great night to be on God's house!

I wanted to thank Arlo & Jennie again this week for taking the youth to a movie Wed. night & having them up for the camp out Friday night. I am thankful that my boys are having "youth stuff" to do. They had a great time doing both & I know they'll have another great Wed. night at the judgement house.
Now to Trunk or treat. It looks like we are going to have a chilly clear night Saturday. That should make for a great evening. Shay, I think your hot cocoa booth will be very busy! Remember if you are doing a trunk, booth, games, bringing chili or baked sale items you need to be at church by 4:30 so we can be set up, eat & be ready to go by 5:30. People will arrive early & we want to be ready. Share info with visitors. Let them know that we have free hot dogs and chili inside, that we have inflatables just for little ones in the gym & to register at the welcome booth ( Glenda over by the fellowship hall) for great door prizes. This year we have received gift certificates from Deorios, Frios, The Fisherman, Red Lobster, the Lunch Box & 2 children's gifts from the Glass House. If you see these owners or patronize these businesses please thank them for their support! I am so excited! I think back over the years & know families that came to the trunk or treat and that was an opportunity for Joey to talk with them, for them to meet other church members & feel comfortable enough to visit on a Sunday. I look forward to those opportunities this year. I will be at church Saturday morning probably about 9 to get things set up for the day. If there is some free men who might could help move hay, tables & set up a few pop up tents please let me know. You can drop baked items off anytime Sat. & if you need to drop off Friday night let me know. I hope to see lots of trunks decorated, lots of adults in costumes & lots of smiling faces Saturday night, We will need lots of help after the trunk or treat is over to get everything out of the parking lot & into the gym or fellowship hall so we look clean for church Sunday morning. I know all of this can be exhausting but just remember you are serving the community, hoping to meet that person who is looking for a relationship with God and a loving church family! We are to be the light! One last thing.... please invite people! I hope you all have the best week. If anyone has questions please call me. 256-393-1063. I am off to pay for gold fish!! hehe

Monday, October 14, 2013

Let's Take the Next 100 Years By Storm

I was only in the service yesterday for about 30 minutes because we left for children's church but for the time I was there, I thought the service was great. I have never heard the choir sound better! I know God was pleased with the joyful sound! I loved Brother Bill's testimony too. It was so moving to see the video of church family. It was all I could do too hold back the tears when I saw Bruce & Valencia Carr. The boys didn't even recognize themselves from a picture when they were younger. Whoever included that pic of me with the snake is dead meat!!!lol The lunch was fabulous! Tony's did a great job but they always do! Saturday night me & the twins were in the car, we had gone to pick up our "Saturday night football food", and Judson said he was so glad that they had grown up in church at WBBC and he looked forward to celebrating the 150th anniversary at church. He said he would be 64 (I am sure I'll be dead by then).  It was a real nice moment where as a parent you are thinking man, I did good. Then Joshua says, "I'll be in Las Vegas!"  He totally ruined the moment & I was like WHAT??? Las Vegas?? Then he starts telling me about this movie coming out called Last Vegas where these old men hit Vegas for one last time. My good thoughts were over! Anyway, I do look forward to the future at WBBC. I think God has great plans of growth & prosperity. I think about how we all came together over the past 2 weeks & read the Bible & how much of an impact the out loud Bible reading had on many of us & I know if we work together making sure God is 1st in our church, there is nothing we can't accomplish if it is His will! I am excited about the future!

Now it is time to get everything ready for the Trunk or Treat. Remember this is our biggest community outreach & it takes everyone to make this happen. This is our chance to welcome visitors into our church & have them feel the love & hospitality that our church, in my opinion , is known for! So please don't sit back & not get involved. Here is what we have & what we need. Inflatables, 3 in the gym just for little kids, 1 huge outside for the big kids & Josh McBurnette is going to watch over that one, the train is coming with the driver, hot dogs have been bought but I would love to see if anyone could get the buns donated, we need about 250 buns. Teresa Coley will be our popcorn girl, Tommy & Shay Layton are doing a hot cocoa stand, Ashley Fortenberry is doing face painting (KIDS LOVE THIS) & I think there is plenty of folks signed up for chili. Meagan Williams is gathering people to bring baked sale items so please let her know if you can bring something for that.(people love to buy cakes because they will freeze for Thanksgiving) If anyone would like to donate something for a door prize, that would be awesome. 2 generators will be needed. We  need people to do trunks. I might be missing someone but right now I have, The Johnson's, The McKee's, Benefield's, Bachus', McVeigh's, Martin's, Jones' & Smith's. SOOO we need more trunks!!Bring your own candy for your trunk but I will have lots of extra if someone runs out. Now on to games. I am wanting youth to work these but so far very few have signed up. I have David, Judson, Joshua, Dakota, Ryan, Marianna, Rebecca & Cathryn. If your teen  can help please get with me. I like to have 2 youth per game that way they can take turns but right now I have some games with nobody assigned. I know some of the girls are singing a few songs so we can swap their spots out when needed. "In Like Ben" is working very hard to provide us with great music. They are practicing like crazy. Wouldn't it be awesome if their little church band starts playing for different Christian functions? They will be set up at the front of the church parking lot. We are in huge need of 2L drinks so if you can donate a few that would be great. Just start placing them in the gym. PLEASE keep in mind that if you are doing a game, trunk or bringing food, we need to be at the church ready to go by 4:30. That gives us an hour to get inside & eat then back to our spots by 5:30. People will arrive early & we need to be prepared to welcome them. Please be in prayer that if their is a family or individual who comes that night, that is without Christ in their hearts, that we make the connection needed to bring them into church where they have the chance to learn about Jesus. Trunk or treat always reminds me of the dedication of Carol Raines. She wasn't physically able to come work at trunk or treat but she always wanted to support it so she would catch me in the hall at church as it got close to trunk or treat time, slip me a $20 & tell me to go buy extra candy! What a woman! I know I have left things out and I am sure they'll will hit me just as I hit submit.  Oh, please dress up! Kids love costumes. Please nothing scary says the girls whose mom continues to dress like a witch year after year. There was some great nonscary costumes last year! I look forward to not recognizing some of you! lol

Ok now to kid stuff. The next 2 Wed. nights will be Big City Studio & the little kids class will meet too (y'all still need a name). Oct. 30, we will all meet together in the gym for a lesson on fear & how God can help us defeat it & we will go outside to have a fire & make smores. I will need some parents to help that night. Our Christmas musical practice will start Nov. 3. We will practice every Wed. & Sunday that month. The Children's Christmas musical will be Dec. 8, 6 pm & let's just say I think it will be angelic! Please support the children & make plans to attend. Y'all know I can't sing or read music so pray for me & those who help as I lead the children & pray for their ears as I do have to sing out loud sometimes to pump up the excitement. Please pray in everything we do at WBBC that we use these opportunities to reach those who are lost. I also wanted to mention they'll be a benefit singing for Haley Smith Sunday night at WBBC, 6pm. Nursery will be provided. Come on out to church & invite someone. Let's be the church that takes the next 100 YEARS by storm, jumps on every opportunity that God gives us and makes a huge impact in the world for Jesus. I believe we can make a difference! Have a great week!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Last post on Special People

I just left the church because I met someone from Rainbow Middle School & let them borrow our Trunk or Treat games for their fall fest. Before I even forget let me say, in the future if anyone ever needs to borrow them & it doesn’t conflict with WBBC’s trunk or treat please feel free. I’ll be glad to let you know what all we have and show them to you. We have been blessed over the years to have some great wooden games made by Gene Mince and if we can help anyone else in the community out by using them then I think we should. I think every church member will be so proud of our church come Sunday. The gym looks great and those pumpkin & mum baskets are beautiful too. I know Kendra did the baskets, June & Leslie decorated the gym & Shay & Tommy cleaned the gym carpet. I am very sure there have been others who have put in hard work I just haven’t been at the church much this week to know who all did what. Anyway, you will be proud to have visitors in our church Sunday. I have to tell yall about our signs at the beginning of Whorton Bend Rd & over by the skating rink. We were at a meeting last week going over 100th Anniversary items & Joey suggested we get some signs made & would I call the sign guy I always use. I said sure but this is kind of last minute. I called & he got busy & quickly emailed me 2 proofs, which I emailed to Joey. The 1st one was purple with just the words the other option had sky, water, a bible & a cross plus all the words. We really liked the 2nd option but was afraid from the highway it would be so busy graphically that passing cars might not be able to read the words. So we went with the purple version. I stayed on Joey to get those signs up. Well, yesterday Jami was in the car with me & I was just a complaining about those signs. I was like that is so ugly & I should have went with the 2nd option & the purple color didn’t look like it did on the computer. Jami said Kristi that is pink. In my nornal fashion I argued purple. Jami said well he thought it was pink & that we had decided to do pink signs for breast cancer. WHAT???? Where 100th anniversary & breast cancer awareness come together I have no idea but I was floored. I said oh no everyone else probably thinks the same thing Jami did. So you all know, breast cancer is close to my heart but I didn’t plan on promoting it with the church signs!! Again the signs are purple!! Lol
I said on the last blog post that I wanted to talk about people who have been so special to me since I came to WBBC. There have been a lot of special people but June White really stands out. One of the 1st outside church activities Jami & I came to when we were visiting WBBC was the trunk or treat. There were very few cars & the only people remotely close to our age were Paul & Teresa Johnson. Remember, I was very shy back them and I remember June walking past me and saying now there is food over here & a bonfire outside and yall just help yourselves. She was so welcoming. As things progressed over the years, I watched June help w/ a half day VBS, my boys 1st VBS. When I first quit Bellsouth & actually had free time, I would go to church & help June with the trunk or treat or get the fellowship hall ready for a dinner. I learned so much from her. She just took me in & included me. June has welcomed me into her home for several women’s’ church parties, she has planned wonderful ladies trips to Pigeon Forge and she has taught me how to do the annual report for the EBA. She has offered to drive Mother to Bham when she was receiving radiation and she was a huge encourager when I found out that I was having Jack. The most important thing I have learned from June over the years is dedication & faithfulness. I have seen her at church so many times doing this or that, that people never know about. Yes, I know she is our secretary but she has done things that fall outside of the secretary zone for years. She doesn’t just lay out of church. If June isn’t there, there is something wrong. When I turn in receipts they are completely unorganized with writing all over them & she somehow makes it out. Year after year I call her asking how close I am to going over the kid’s budget & she knows it down to the penny within a minute. I call her asking for a church check & I have it that day. As a matter of fact, I called this morning because I needed a check to go pick up Sunday’s programs & she met me in Southside within minutes. She has been dedicated and faithful not just as the WBBC secretary but as someone who loves to work in her church. She is faithful to being in God’s house. She is welcoming to others at WBBC. I know I am all over the place with this but I hope it conveys the importance she has played in my life. I have watched her example & I strive to be as dedicated & faithful. Yes…. I know June likes things a certain way but she is honest & will tell you that upfront. I had a shower at church a few wks. ago & the table cloths looked a little wrinkled. I said something to June & questioned if I should steam them, she said yes she would & of course I didn’t make the effort. Lol June has so much knowledge and history of our church. I think in the business meeting she said she had been at the church 57 or 52 yrs. WOW!! It really saddened me to hear her give up the social committee & the flower committee this year because she couldn’t handle all the doing anymore.
I guess the whole point of this was to remember how others have influenced out lives. I am so thankful to God for not letting go & giving up on me when I was fighting him so hard not to be at WBBC. I am so thankful to God for the people who I have met, those I learned from, those who helped encourage the children’s ministry, those who thought my young brother had what it took to eventually lead our church, those who stepped up and were role models on how to raise a family, the one who wanted our church to be a lighthouse to the community, the one who started a young adult Sunday school class so Jami & I didn’t have to go to SS with older, much older people, the one who started serving in the nursery so Jami & I didn’t have to take our babies to preaching ( Blake & Laura… I think Theresa was one of those volunteers), for the Baptism that held my boys & brother, for the closeness I felt to church members when we cried out prayers for the Cloughs, for the moments I have been with children as they have asked Jesus into their hearts, for the excitement I have gotten as I have seen visitors walk thru our doors and for the lost who have met Jesus at the alter. I am so thankful for that day when God’s pull was so strong on me that I couldn’t stay in my pew & pushed Jami out so we could become members at WBBC.  I hope you all have a great weekend & I look forward to Sunday. Keep your eye out for a visiting preacher Sunday, Bro. Bill Kirkpatrick. He baptized me at 1st Baptist Southside & was one of the preachers who married Jami & me.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Second post for this week! Disney, Arlo, Kids

I ment to give a big thank you to Arlo & Jennie in last nights post. If we are being honest Arlo could have said adios amigos & left our youth hanging but he isn't that kind of man & he loves our students, instead he is going to lead our students until the Lord brings us another person. While leading our kids he really could just teach & that be it but instead he is opening his home for another youth camp out, taking our kids to see another Christian movie & leading our kids thru another judgement house. I am thankful for his leadership and his dedication and I am thankful during a month of Halloween parties, football games, just regular teen hanging out kind of stuff that my boys have church stuff to do and I know they'll be hearing some type of message on Jesus & hanging with those of like beliefs. I can say I don't know many people that would hang in their like that. If you see this Arlo & Jennie.....thanks for what you do, what you have done & for what God plans for you to do in the future!

Ok if you are interested in the Disney/mission trip & couldn't make the meeting here is some info. As I said before I can't go to Disney, the most magical place on earth, with a church group & not do something for others. It just isn't right. I also can't go to Disney & us not learn or share about Jesus. So their will be mandatory devotions every day, probably in the late afternoon when most head back to the rooms for a little rest before heading back out at night. I know I can't make anyone come to the devotions  once they get to Disney but I want everyone to understand my viewpoint from the start on that topic. Even though it is Disney, God is going to come first. Everyone yesterday seemed good with that. We have no definite date until we know about spring break & that will not be until March or April of 2014. I asked the group to come up with some fundraising ideas that do not depend on the church folks for support. I know we will have a few over the next yr. and a half but I want the majority to come from outside sources. The youth group is large & they need to be able to fund raise inside the church if a trip or something comes up for them. Courtney Jones, Wendy Benefield & some others are already throwing ideas around to raise some funds. Feelers are going out on what we can do to help the local area around Disney too. Plan on a small deposit around the end of Feb. but I will let you know more as the months pass. We will make small deposits as we go so the trip will be paid for before we leave. I suggest anyone interested goes to & requests a free dvd. This will give you some info, let you see inside the parks & get yourself pumped up for this great trip. Another valuable site is That site has some much info. It will even tell you the menu's and prices of food so you know where you can afford to eat & cannot afford to eat. Some of us last trip ate very reasonably so don't get scared & think you have to buy every meal out. We had refigs in out rooms so most of us ate breakfast in, you could do sandwiches for lunch & eat supper out if you wanted. My mom took a small toaster & coffee pot for her room.  You can also take snacks & water in the park with you. I think the first time Jami & I took the twins the only snack we bought out of a whole week was a popsicle because we took snacks into the park. Anyway, we will meet again once we get thru the month of October and see if anyone else has decided to go, see if any ideas popped up & if anyone has questions.

As for the kids I forgot to mention in yesterdays post that Oct. 30  the kids will not have Big City, nor will the little kids have their class. We will still meet in the gym from 6-7 but the lesson will be on God helping us to smash our fears & yep I am going to put on the ole goggles & smash a large pumpkin in the gym.....shuuush Don't tell June!! haha I am just kidding, she want care since it is the gym. We will then have a bonfire, roast some marshmallows & make smores. I know I'll need some parents to help watch kids around the fire & load marshmallows on the sticks. Ashley, Courtney & Donna, yall need a name for your class and no you can't use names like the rotten tomatoes or the Dennis the Menace group.....find something nice! lol  I think that is it. If you didn't see last nights blog post read it to. This is a busy week so I know I'll post again by the end of the week. My crew reads tonight so I am very excited!!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lots of Stuff..THe Carrs, Kid Stuff

I said I was going to talk about some people from WBBC who have been very special to me over the years but before I get to that I got to thinking & sometimes I just struggle with my teens. One has a really bad smart mouth & he got it honestly. My mouth was horrible as a teen towards my parents. Teens think they know it all & some times think they know best when it comes to doing what is asked of them. I asked mine to go shopping for jeans yesterday, me knowing that whatever I bought probably would not fit one of them. Of course, they had no part in the shopping & I gave in & went on my own. I came home, made them try the jeans on. (moms with no boys.... boys do not like fashion & trying clothing on whether at the mall or at home is a nightmare.) Of course, I was right and the jeans fit one child perfectly the other child not so perfectly. I made him go to the mall with me after church today to try on jeans & out of the "I told you so & do what your momma says next time attitude" I made him try on many extra pairs just to drive home my point. If he had went with me the 1st time I asked I would have went with the 1st jeans that fit & there would have been no grounding. So I was thinking that God might think of us as that unruly teen. He urges me, prompts me, puts the example right in front of me & sometimes I think I know best, argue back, ignore His advice & do my own thing. Then I realize His way was the easiest, best & He was right. And to think once I get thru with the twins teenage years I have to wait 10 more years and do it again with Jack. Start praying for me know please!

Over the years at WBBC there has been some awesome role models I have learned from. Some still with us & others who have moved on to heaven. I have talked about Carol Raines & how she encouraged me & Audrey Broom who I watch fight cancer but yet still got up and welcomed folks every Sunday at church & how that example along with God's power has helped me overcome some of my shyness. The couple I want to talk about today is Bruce & Valencia Carr. When I started out working with the children, I had NO experience, no plans, no idea where to look for info & just no clue, I just knew this was what God wanted me to do. Valencia Carr was such a resource. She knew who I could call for this or she would call & ask me if I thought about checking here or there. She would just call to tell me that she thought I was doing a good job. Those calls were always when I needed the extra encouragement. I remember being in Pigeon Forge on a ladies trip & we had just found out mother had breast cancer for the 1st time. I was the only "younger person" on the trip. I remember Mrs. Carr wanting to pray for my mother before we went out one evening. I just cried. I also remember being in Disney World, on a church trip, & Joey getting the call that Mrs. Carr might not make it. I got the group that was with us together &  we huddled up in the Animal Kingdom & prayed for her. It was just one of those moments I will never forget. She was such a fighter & she loved her church. Then there is her other half, Bruce. I remember when Joey was being sworn in the 1st time as a city councilman & Bruce Carr showed up to support his young pastor. I knew then he was a good man. There has never been a time that Bruce has not supported the children's dept. I have asked for so many things over the years & He always respond with careful consideration & then support. I know Joey & Jami have looked to him for leadership & advice. He has the absolute most heartfelt prayers. He was dedicated to his wife & to his children. He has suffered loss and continues to strive on and do what he can for his Lord. He has been a true leader for WBBC. He is very special to my family & has even enjoyed many meals with us at moms & dads. We look up to him and I am so thankful the Lord placed Bruce in our path.  True Christians role models who made a difference in this girls life! I'll probably post on another special person this week, so stay tuned!

Ok now to the kid stuff! Regular children's church in the gym Wednesday night & Sunday since the service is from 10:30- 12:00, the kids will have children's church for part of the service but we will be upstairs in the green classroom instead of the gym. The gym will be ready for lunch!! Thank you to all who helped with movie night. We had a great time watching Chicken Little. Trunk or treat will be here soon so please let Teresa Coley know if you can do chili, let Megan Williams know if you can make something for the bake sale (proceeds from that will go towards the youth Winter Extreme trip). Please plan on doing your cars & dressing up. I still need some youth to sign up for games & we'll need 2L drinks & candy brought in for donations. The hot dogs have been donated!! This year "In Like Ben" is playing outside. Let me just say they have been working so hard on getting some new songs ready. They have a new guy singing & I heard he was unbelievable & I also heard some of our youth girls were great! This is going to be a 1st so I hope & pray it goes well!  I think you'll love it! We had a Disney/mission trip meeting today.   I am looking forward to see who joins in on this trip. It will be a blast. They'll be more to come on that needs it's own post! I hope you all have a great week & pray for those making the 100th anniversary possible. There has been lots of work going on to get the church ready for Sunday & I know more work this week! God has greatly blessed us!

Monday, September 30, 2013

What Will People Remember?

This weekend Mom, Debbie & I went to 2 visitation services, well one I sat in the car & waited on them because I didn’t personally know the man. I knew who he was and had seen him many times out and about in Southside but did not personally know him or his family. Mom & Debbie got back in the car & reminiscence on the times they spent at First Baptist Southside. This man they went to pay their respects to was named Tom Harris. As I listened to them talk about how he always went on the youth trips and it seemed like Joey always got in his room it made me think of how people think of us.  Mother said just a few weeks ago she & the twins had seen Mr. Harris at Jack’s   & he had went on and on telling the twins about being with Joey on youth trips when Joey was about their age. He had been wanting to come hear Joey preach & never got the chance. It left me thinking Mr. Harris must have always been about church & helping with the youth.  I just know when I am dead & gone from this earth I hope they’ll be someone I touched who can say I remember when. So I guess my question is…what people are going to say about you when the time comes & you leave this earth. Are they going to say you were a nice man or woman? Are they going to remember you being hot headed? Are they going to remember you always made people feel welcome? Are they going to remember you being faithful & dedicated to the church & doing God’s work? Are they going to remember you tearing others down or lifting other’s up? Are they going to remember you leading them to Christ? Just something to think on.
I think as we get closer to the 100th anniversary of WBBC I’ll reflect back on some of those adults that made a huge difference in my life and the path of WBBC. I want to encourage everyone to go read the Bible at church for 1 hour. I think we can give God 1 hour if He has given us 100 years at a blessed church. I want to encourage families to do this together. How awesome would it be for your children to see you putting God first? Let the kids have a turn too! I have seen most of the children read a bible verse out loud so don’t think they aren’t able. The twins are going to share the hour with Jami & I & I’ll probably make Jack repeat a verse too. Let’s put God right where He should be 1st in our families!
This Friday night will be “Family Movie Night” in the gym. Concessions starts at 6:30 & the movie will begin at 7:00. I have had a request for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, so if anyone has that I would love to borrow it for the night. Bring a chair or blankets & come enjoy a money free night with your children. We’ll be collecting cans for the food pantry that night too. This is a great opportunity to invite another family to church. There will be a meeting right after church Sunday for anyone (Youth & Children) who would like information on the Disney/Mission trip. I’ll be getting us some prices together this week. Be in prayer on what type mission work we can do while we are there.  Trunk or treat will be here soon so let me tell everyone what we need & how you can help. Sign up w/ Teresa Coley for chili & Megan Williams if you can bring a dessert for the bake sale. We will need lots of 2 L drinks & candy donated. Just drop those off in the gym if you wish to donate. I still need youth to sign up to work games & I need someone to run the popcorn popper.  The band has already been in practice so I am very excited about us having some music this year. I invited someone yesterday so use this event as a way to get someone to church. You invite them to the T or T; they feel welcome & feel the family experience with us, meet a few church folk & then they will be more at ease to come on a Sunday morning. Just cold turkey walking into a new church is very hard for many people. The children will start working on Christmas music next month during Sunday children’s church. I still have to order the music so pray that I find one that will touch not just the kid’s hearts but the people who come hear them. I guess that is it! I hope to see everyone Wednsday night! Have a blessed week & get signed up to read the Bible!