Friday, July 23, 2010

The Crabb Family w/ Mike Bowling: That I Could Still Go Free

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Heat of the Battle

When tragedy strikes, you begin to pay more attention to the things around you. Show/tell people your love like never before. Drive a little slower. Spend more time with friends and family. Listen to words of a song closer. 

Every song has a meaning to the person who wrote it, the person that sings it, and the person who listens to it -- whether it be a country, hip-hop, easy listening, or Christian -- whatever. The Bowling Family's bus accident last week puts a whole NEW meaning to their songs....including the one below.

After watching footage of the scene and viewing pictures of the bus, you can tell that things could have been MUCH worse! I am thankful to God for keeping His hand of protection on this family. God is using The Bowling Family in such a mighty way through their music and this accident is just Satan is trying to deter them. Yes, they have "suffered a sharp, painful blow," but there IS a "blood soaked banner" that hangs in the gap for them so "don't count [them] out of the fight."

This will be the heat of the battle for Mike, Kelly, and their family but Satan will NOT win this battle because The Bowling Group WILL continue to spread God's word, even through the battle!!!In the words of Mike himself, "[Satan] may get me down or get me low but, brothers and sisters, he can't keep me down because I'm victorious through the blood of Jesus Christ." The fact that all are still alive is a testament that God is NOT through with them yet!! 

The Heat of the Battle

I remember a time I thought I was standing
Then I took for granted our foe
I let down my guard, became lax in duty
Then I suffered a sharp painful blow
I recall as I lay on that cold battle field
Wondering if I would survive
Then I saw in the distance an old blood soaked banner
That brought to my courage new life

I might have gone down in the heat of the battle
But don't count me out of the fight
I still bear the scars where I have been wounded
It looks like they'll be there for life
But soon this conflict will end for God's mighty army
It will be worth the toil and strife
I might have gone down in the heat of the battle
But don't count me out of the fight

As Jesus once walked up the hill of Golgotha 
Knowing what waited ahead
The army of angels listened for orders
To wipe out the whole world instead
But He looked through the battle and saw a great victory
Denying Himself for the cause
Though He still bears the scars from the heat of the battle
He overthrew evil for all

Words and Music by Mike Bowling & Gerald Crabb

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What I Know for Sure...

I found this quote about 6 months ago, and I have it hanging on my wall. I love the fact that it can apply to anything and everything you have going on in your life. I'm sharing it with you tonight hoping that it might redirect any negative thoughts that make you want to stop into POSITIVE ones that make you push through!!

What I know for sure is that no matter where you stand right now - on a hilltop, in a gutter, at a crossroads, or in a rut -- you need to give yourself the best you have to offer at this moment. This is it. Rather than depleting yourself with judgments about what you haven’t done, who you could have become, why you haven’t moved faster, or what you should have changed, redirect that energy toward the next big push -- the one that takes you from good enough to better; the one that takes you from adequate to extraordinary; the one that helps you rise up from a low moment and helps you reach for your personal best.

Oprah Winfrey

Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Look

okay, I've been playing around with layouts and banners and stuff for my blog.....let me know what you think!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our Last Day Together

Well, today was my last day of watching my nephew for a while. I don't think it's really hit me yet, but I think it will once I start this job tomorrow morning. Anyway, I definitely took my camera today and made sure to take LOTS of pictures. I won't bore you with them all, just the emotional ones ;) And trust me when I say, I took plenty more than what I'm sharing!

playing in his crib.

I had just told him "NO!"

posing like a big boy.

he LOVES to press the buttons on this truck -- 
it plays Twinkle, Twinkle and Do You Know the Muffin Man

I miss Mayberry....

....sittin on the porch drinking ice cold cherry -- coke....

....where everything is black and white....

"I'd trade my life for my nephew." Barry Robertson

I get extremely sad when I think about not seeing Caleb the majority of days in the week! I knew the time would come at some point when I wouldn't be able to watch him anymore...I just never thought about how hard it would actually be to leave him. I didn't cry like I thought I would today, but about lost it when he just laid his head on my shoulder while I was holding him. I don't even want to think about the fact that there won't be any moments like that anymore....not for a while anyway.....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What Will I Do????

I have been taking care of my nephew ever since I "quit" my job last year. Needless to say, I have spoiled him rotten....if mommy isn't at home, he's attached to Aunt Alisha! Today I realized that tomorrow will be the last day that I take care of him for a while. :( I have a new job that I start training for on Friday morning, so I won't be able to watch him anymore. Once I get trained and start my 2nd shift, the plan is to go back to watching him but not as late as I do now. I almost cried when I thought about that today -- and I can only imagine that tomorrow will be even worse!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Living 3 Songs

The past few days I have been living off 3 songs: “Chasing After You” by Bethany Church, “The More I Seek You” by Kari Jobe, and “I Call You Jesus” by Frontline Worship. These songs have played over and over on my computer and in my head. My desire has been growing stronger and stronger to get closer to God. So I’ve been chasing after Him, seeking Him, and calling His name! I just knew “There must be more now, Father!” I couldn’t get enough of God’s presence while listening to these songs! I taught the teen class at church Sunday night; my devotion was about trying to hear God’s voice, and why we can’t hear His voice sometimes. Even without a job, my life was too hectic, too loud, to hear what God was trying to tell me. But in the midst of my chaos, he reminded me that ‘He’s every answer. There’s no confusion about who He is to me’ and all He wants me to do is ‘lift my hands and tell what my heart says.’

Last night, I went to bed feeling down. Not really because I didn’t have a job or I was worried but just a feeling of -- I don’t know how exactly to describe it. I just didn’t feel good enough, like my life was lacking something. I sang one of those songs as I drifted off to sleep... “Chasing after You, I’m so hungry for Your presence. I come before your throne and lay all my burdens down. You said You’d never leave me, so I’ll take You at Your promise. My life is in Your hands, so I give You all I am.” I knew when I went to bed last night that “there must be more now, Father” and today I experienced MORE in my life. Well this morning, around 11 am, I experienced the rest of the song. “I found my deliverance here. I found my healing is here. I found my liberty’s here. I found it! I found it!” Just one month ago I was on retreat with the ladies from Calvary CoG. And, like last year, my prayer cloths and petitions before the Lord included me finding a job. Well, today I got one!! God saw fit to finally answer my prayer, in HIS timing, and produce a job for me. And it does come at the most perfect time because my brother just moved out this weekend -- he was our lifeline for two of our household bills. The job doesn’t have the best pay, but it works for us, and I know God can make more of it down the road if He sees fit.

The more I sought God, the more I found of Him. And the more I found Him, the more I love Him! I will continue to sit at His feet, drink from the cup in His hand, lay back against Him and breathe, feel His heart beat. His love is so deep, and it’s WAY MORE than I can stand. I melt in His peace; it’s overwhelming! So, tonight, I will lay my head down and go to sleep in PEACE…reminded that God is EVERY ANSWER!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Longest Week Ever

I think this has been the LONGEST week EVER...and it's not even over yet!! I have watched Caleb every day except Monday. I worked every night except tonight with a friend of mine until at least 10:30 pm or later....which I am grateful for because I get paid for it -- but still exhausting. Tomorrow I have to watch Caleb again because my sister has stuff to catch up on at work (end of the school year awards). I'm leaving there and going to get my hair cut, which I guess is a little "me" time -- ehh, then heading off to Relay for Life all night til 7am Saturday. At which point, I must get some sleep, but I still have to work on my devotion to teach the teens on Sunday so I won't be able to crash like I really want/need to...

But, in the midst of my exhaustion, I remember the Scripture: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28) I also bring back to memory the very thing I shared with my TAP session on retreat:

Have you thought about how big your God is today? Do you realize you have the Creator of the universe on your side? He's the God who spoke the world into existence. He's called the Great I Am. He's saying today, "I am everything you need. I am your strength. I am your wisdom. I am your protection. I am your provider. I am your way maker. I am your problem solver. I am your dream giver. I am your VICTORY!"

 I know that when I lay my head upon my pillow tonight, that God will bring comfort my weary body and the rest that I need. The Lord, my God, will give me then strength and energy to make it through all these events and provide a lesson that will speak to the hearts of those teenagers on Sunday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

FOCUS Retreat

I promised to write about the women's retreat from last month, so here it goes...

First of all, let me just tell you that Satan did NOT want me going on this trip!! I had so many obstacles and struggles to overcome before I was able to go...and I wasn't the only one actually. There were several of us that Satan attacked before, and even during, the retreat! BUT, Satan didn't win -- heaven gained an angel, a precious little girl was made whole again, lives were touched, and prayers were answered! We may not have prayed all night and shouted the morning in, but there was a very sweet spirit at that retreat...

I was privileged to be able to go up on Thursday afternoon with April and Angel. Teresa Smith did our devotion for that night. She shared about what FOCUS meant to/for her. ...I can't find my bookmark or I would share part of her devotion with you. :( After her devotion, we just lounged around the rest of the night...

(Peggy, Ann, Shirley, and Ruth relaxing after devotion)

Friday we had a great day of shopping around Pigeon Forge. This was the night the Retreat Committee cooked supper for everyone. We had teriyaki chicken, loaded mashed potato and salad bar. Our original plan was for baked potatoes, but we didn't get back to the cabin in time to get them done. But everything turned out well nonetheless! That night, April did our devotion. She was a spur of the moment fill in and did a fantastic job. We also did TAP sessions with our rocks [TAP = talk and pray; we write down our need(s) on the rock which is taken to the church's rock altar when we get back]. One thing I shared with my TAP group was this quote:

Have you thought about how big your God is today? Do you realize you have the Creator of the universe on your side? He's the God who spoke the world into existence. He's called the Great I Am. He's saying today, "I am everything you need. I am your strength. I am your wisdom. I am your protection. I am your provider. I am your way maker. I am your problem solver. I am your dream giver. I am your VICTORY!"

(Whitney, Jessica, and Angel chatting before evening devotion)

Saturday morning, Cheryl cooked a wonderful breakfast! We had homemade biscuits, grits, bacon, gravy, fruit, danishes....lots of YUMMY stuff!!! And after that big breakfast, I did the morning devotion. My main idea was this: FOCUS = Faith Overcomes Circumstances and Undermines Satan!! In order to FOCUS – to make the adjustment for a clear image – we have to get our concentration off the blurriness of our circumstances with our desires of 'fixing things'; we have to "turn from their own ways" like the song says, and get back to the clear image of GOD! The song I was talking about is one by Casting Crowns called "What If His People Prayed" [it's in the music player at the bottom of my blog if you want to listen to it]. My main scripture was 1 John 5:4 (MSG) that "Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith." Our faith doesn't come through concentrating on our problems; it comes by being engaged with God through our problems.

Later on Saturday, we all met back up at Damon's Ribs in Pigeon Forge/Sevierville for dinner together and after that we headed back to the cabin for the evenings activities. We participated in communion, had an old-fashioned foot washing, and prayed over each other's prayer cloths. This is the night that is very sacred and most important for many people. We don't take these activities lightly and God honors the humbleness we show!

Sunday was check-out day. Whitney shared a morning devotion and prayer with us before heading home. We all had a great time, even with everything Satan tried to throw at us! We laughed, talked, shopped, prayed, and enjoyed God's presence!!!

(Stephanie K. Cheryl, Teresa, and Peggy talking on the porch)

(Kayla D. and Krista - twins for the night)

(Mrs. Hazel sharing her history with and devotion to the Ladies' Ministry)

(mine and Carol Ann's room -- it had a jacuzzi tub too!!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2 Months...

wow...I can't believe it's been over 2 months since I've posted anything!! Quite a lot has happened...

Let's see, in March, the only interesting this was a surprise party we threw for my sister's birthday. She was completely surprised!!

the cake was awesome too -- got it from Bloom in Clemson.

Okay, in April...I was pretty busy. I helped with the Upstate Kids Consignment Sale by tagging LOTS and lots of clothes...

...also got my hair cut and highlighted (red and blonde!)...

...babysat my friends' kids -- whom I absolutely love to death!!...

...and went on the Calvary CoG Women's Retreat!! I'll detail more about that in my next blog (probably tomorrow)...

Also, on the last Sunday of April, I started helping Dianna at Seneca CoG teach the teens on Sunday afternoons/nights. Taught my first lesson to them on 5/2 and throughly enjoyed it! They are SO ready and anxious to learn what the Bible says about dealing with our everyday struggles and temptations. I can't wait to see what God has in store for their lives!!!!

The month of May has already been jam packed busy -- 2 funerals :(, MWOA Benefit, teaching the teens, running tons of errands, grocery shopping, mother's day festivities, Relay for Life car wash, baby Caroline's arrival...whew....and it's only the 11th!!! Guess my blog will be pretty full this month ;) But for now, I think it's bedtime...more to come tomorrow night!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

God's Will

When I have alot on my mind, as I do tonight, I can always count on this scripture and prayer to encourage me. Tonight, I'm sharing it with you, hoping is brings the same encouragement and uplifting spirit as it brings to me.

The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as a pathway to peace. Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will. That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snow Day!

Today was a day full of white skies!! Even though it didn't stick to the ground, it was so pretty to see it falling in so heavily and such BIG flakes! I helped Caleb stand on his toy box so he could look out the window...


"come look..."

"it's SNOWING outside!!"

little man is sick right now with a horrible cough and wheezing, but he enjoyed looking outside at the snow!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I haven't really kept up with my blog; but sometimes I just like to write what I'm feeling or going through, so those are the times I update it. Obviously alot has happened since October but most of it isn't worth noting. Recently though, there has been a great deal going on at church. This month, we have been celebrating the Calvary's 50th anniversary with lots of activities, dinners, and visitors coming to help us celebrate. Unfortunately, this month will end with our senior pastor leaving. (For those that don't know, my pastor is also part of my [extended] family -- he is my brother-in-law's brother.) This has been a long and trying ordeal, but is the best decision for him and his family. I know God has great plans for them. My sister and BIL (an outreach pastor) are also leaving, as he has accepted a position at another church. My family has always gone to church together, so this leaves my mother and me in a difficult place. We both hold [minute] positions within the church and don't feel it would be right to leave without fulfilling those duties or finding a replacement. So, while we will eventually join my sister, BIL, and nephew at Seneca CoG, we will continue to worship at Calvary for the time being. I will surely miss the people and worship at Calvary when we do leave, but I find it important to make the sacrifices for my mother that she once made for me!!

my BIL and nephew at our 50th Anniversary Celebration

At church, we are also getting ready for our annual ladies' retreat. This year, we are returning to the Great Smoky Mountain. Our retreats have always been a wonderful time of praise, prayer, devotion, fun, and fellowship -- and this year, I expect no less!!! I actually am expecting this year to be so much better than years past! I trust that God is going to move and answer prayers in a way that we ladies have never seen Him before! Our theme this year is FOCUS, and I am privileged to be one of the speakers/devotion leaders. God has been speaking a word into my heart that I just can't contain. I am so excited to share with the ladies what God has given me. I have never spoken to this many people before, so please keep me in your prayers as I prepare and God continues to reveal Himself and His word to me.

"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light." Aristotle Onassis

Also want to share a few pictures of my nephew -- he is getting so big and growing up way too fast!!! He looks like a little man!

eating Cheerios during church

sitting beside daddy

waking up in the recliner

DIRTY face!!!

playing with blocks

little man walking


<3 this little man!!

I AM A CHRISTIAN. I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, & mind. God has really blessed me more than I could ever imagine, but the truth is that Satan HATES me!! I face struggles & temptation every single day of my life; but no matter what happens, I still strive to do the will of God. Because I put my faith & trust in God, He has provided relief for me & my family time & time again! God never fails to comfort & remind me of His promise that “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). There have been countless times that I did not deserve God’s grace & should not have been granted mercy. But He has granted me mercy & forgiveness, as well as goodness & grace -- all for the purpose of sharing it with those I meet along the path of life. Some days are better than others, but you always have to remember to keep pressing on! Keep praising HIM & He’ll never fail to bring you through the storm.