Monthly archive for December 2007


Webster’s dictionary defines a memory as the mental process or faculty of representing in consciousness an act, experience, or impression, with recognition that it belongs to time past. It has been my experience that one of the huge benefits of knowing Christ personally is that He takes our worst possible experiences in life and filters them into sweet remembrances. In essence, the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of every believer, is able to transform our memories. I believe He uses two things to accomplish this miracle in our hearts: forgiveness and thankfulness. Last week I had an experience that I hope will explain what I am trying to convey. When I opened the mailbox to retrieve our mail, I noticed a letter with the return address of the “Texas Department of Pardons and Parole.” With the sixth anniversary of our daughter Shari’s death approaching, I knew without opening the envelope

Read more

Memories: Treasures of the Heart

We are anticipating the arrival of our first grandchild this December. I am excited, but the “grandmother-in-waiting” is consumed. We have begun to go through boxes in the attic of important things from our children’s early years. Baby things carefully stored for this time, a time that seemed so remote back then, seem such a short time now. Handmade blankets and favorite stuffed animals, all are filled with memories that cause us to sit quietly and reflect on the journey of family. Most are memories of joy, happiness and fulfillment, but there have also been times of great pain. Memories are where we store the importance of the past. Not everything can quickly be recalled, but those that are usually mean something special. This Christmas season there will be many memories. Christmas seems to be a time that our minds record an unusual number of incidents, both of joy and

Read more

Make Some New Memories This Christmas

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” Oh, aren’t Christmas carols like that one just infectious? When they start playing on the radio (in mid-November), I can’t help but get swept away by giddiness and anticipation of the Christmas season! The earlier, the better for me! Over the next few weeks, sweet memories will flood my mind regarding handmade stockings from my grandmother that continue to hang on the mantle with care, leisurely drives through neighborhoods full of Christmas lights, fellowship with friends and family at all the annual get-togethers, and the Candlelight Service I’ve attended most years of my life. Other prominent ones include my dear Dad filming my sisters and I as we’d come down the stairs on Christmas morning (with bed-head in all its glory), hugging each giver of gifts after each one is opened, and watching our cat, Tabby, play in all the empty bags

Read more

Active Memories

Do you remember as a child all the running and jumping and playing that you did? How many of you ever woke up on Christmas morning to find a shiny new bicycle waiting for you and you set out immediately for a test ride? Do you remember walking over to your friend’s house to play? I can see a vivid picture in my mind of the neighborhood I lived in as a little girl. One of my best friends lived at the top of a steep hill near my house and I would think nothing of running up that hill to find her each day. We sledded down that hill in the winter, in the daylight and in the moonlight— it was both exhilarating and scary, but we loved it! And what about those active teenage years? Did you go to dance classes or the Saturday night dance? Did you

Read more

God Things

This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. – 1 John 4:10 Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love all the twinkling lights, the joyful music about the birth of our Savior, the atmosphere of love and giving of gifts, home and family, the midnight Christmas Eve service at the church and all the traditions that we have come to know and associate with the Christmas season. One of my favorite childhood memories is of the Christmas Eve program at our church. There was a large Christmas tree that all the church members helped decorate, little shepherd children, angels with cardboard wings, Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus, plus all the traditional Christmas carols. In the audience were those who had traveled home to spend Christmas with their families. It was an

Read more

New England Area Leaders’ Meeting

New England Area Leaders' Meeting

With 11 attendees representing 4 churches –three being from Massachusetts churches – we prayed together, had a teaching on leadership from Linda Graves, shared a healthy continental style breakfast, and stories not only about the ministries — but also of amazing weight loss and transformed lives. It was so clear how His hand is all over First Place and all were blessed by that. The group wants to get together regularly, so a seed has been planted. We have received feedback that people were encouraged, inspired, and that it initiated area leader fellowship. It was such a wonderful team effort. I appreciate Marilyn’s work in seeking out First Place people and initiating the process to make the dream of a New England Area Leader meeting a reality! I am also thankful for Vicki Heath and Kathlee Coleman for help with the agenda. It is so exciting to see First Place

Read more