I'm so glad you've stopped by my blog! I am a Women's Minister and a former Pastor's Wife. I love finding God in my regular-everyday-stuff. I struggle with keeping up with the laundry, I love blogging, and my kids are my first line of ministry. I am recently widowed. So God and I are on a brand new journey as I try to find peace and understanding. Please grab a cup of coffee and let's get to know one another as we journey on our faith walk together.

Monday, February 22, 2010

So why a new blog?

Good Morning!
Well, I've had this blog started for a while and for the first time announced it to the public this morning. Now, you may be asking, "I thought you already had a blog?". And you would be right. I do have a family blog. This is mainly to let all our Texas friends (or rather our non-New Orleans friends) keep up with all that the Franklin family is up to these days. But if I'm really honest with myself - it's a place where I can brag on my kids! LOL!

This blog, however, is something completely different! This is a place where I can brag on my God! In 1999 God called me into the ministry. I knew that He was telling me 2 specific things at this time - 1) Go to seminary and get prepared for what I'm going to do and 2) It might take a while for this calling to come to fruition as far as everyone around you will see.

So, I moved to Fort Worth and started attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Many of you know this story. I started working as an intern at First Baptist Euless and this is where I met John. Since that time in 1999, I have served at several churches, mainly as a Women's Minister. In 2004, I started writing email devotionals. It was designed to be a weekly encouragement for the ladies in my home church. However, God has used these in a tremendous way in the lives of many ladies and has actually spread to email in-boxes all over the country. Only God could take something so small as my thoughts in my prayer time and spread them over so many ladies from coast to coast! Thank you Lord! I'm am continuously humbled when ladies reply that what I wrote met them right where they were with the Lord!

I knew when God called me to His service in 1999 that He wanted me also to do something very specific. At the time, I was working as a Hazardous Materials Trainer. I spoke to groups of Emergency Response Teams over the Central Texas area. In my prayer time one day, God clearly revealed to me that He wanted me to speak for Him instead. He wanted to use the talents that He gave me for public speaking to spread His message of hope, salvation and peace. After much prayer, my husband and I believe that the time for me to respond to this part of His call on my life should begin to take shape and form.

Therefore, in the days to come - you will be able to find devotionals on this blog as well as a few other things. My heart is to take the gospel of Christ and his message of hope, survival, peace and comfort to churches that may not otherwise be able to afford big name speakers. So, if you and your church - or if you know of a church - that is looking to have a ladies retreat and/or event please feel free to send them to this blog. I'm prayerful as I wait to see where God takes this next phase of His call on my life.

I love you all dearly and hope that you check in with me often as we walk this journey of faith together!

Your sister in the faith,

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Cozy Biblical Fire

Good Morning!
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Can you believe this weather? I was just getting used to warmer temperatures and then "wham!" we're back in the throws of real winter again. Living in the South is just crazy sometimes. Do we get 4 seasons or don't we? This morning I'm sitting at my kitchen window enjoying a nice cup of coffee, reading my Bible, seeing what going on in the Facebook world and wishing I had a big bulky sweatshirt on.... this big window is super nice - but also very cold!!!

However cold it may be outside, in my prayer time this morning I was able to cozy up to a great Biblical Fire. In my One Year Bible, the Old Testament passages are about the great exodus from Egypt. I totally love this story! In fact, I see something new every year. I almost get excited as I get closer to the book of Exodus, for I know (or at least I pray) that God will teach me something new from this great event in our Christian history. Well, I can tell you that this year He didn't let me down. I was reading about the cloud by day and the fire by night - and then it happened! The thing that I've never really paid too much attention to in years past, was practically coming off the page this year!

Don't you just love when you can clearly see the Lord guiding you? The children of Israel got to have a true visual of this as they left Egypt. The Bible says that a pillar of cloud led them by day and a cloud of fire led them by night. It went before them. Think about the comfort that this must have brought them. One, they knew they were going the right way and two, it showed them that the Lord was truly with them every step of the way. But in Exodus 14 something changed. Join with me and see what God does....

Exodus 14:19-20 (ESV)
Then the angel of God, who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them, coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness. And it lit up the night without one coming near the other all night.

Did you see what God did? He moved! I bet the children of Israel were thinking at first... "Where did He go? He's been leading us this entire time! Did He leave us?" Have you ever thought that about God?

As soon as I read this, I wished that I could have this same kind of visual that the children of Israel had... and then I remembered... I do! I have probably the most considerate husband ever! When I met him, I realized that chivalry was alive and well! He always opens my door and pulls out the chair for me at restaurants. He also walks on the outside when we're walking down a street or through a parking lot. A true gentleman! But it was when we moved into a 2-story house that I realized there was one more frontier of his chivalrous acts that I still had yet to experience. Going down the stairs he would always walk in front of me - good - but when I would start to go up the stairs he would move. At first this took me by surprise! I thought, " Why did he move? What is he doing? Where is he going?". Then I realized that the move was for my protection. He pointed out to me that he wanted to be in a position to catch me if I fell - no matter if we were going up or down the stairs. Where we were going, meant that sometimes he needed to change where he walked in relation to me.

Wow! I realized this morning that God did the exact same thing for the Israelites and He does the exact same thing for us today! If you're wondering where God is - perhaps you need to turn around and see if He's behind you - protecting you from the enemy! Did you see in the above passage it says, "coming in between the host of Egypt & the host of Israel"? Basically, God stood in the gap between the two. He protected them completely! So much, that no one came near the other! Now that's the kind of protection that I can certainly use in my life!! God's got your back dear friends!

JP has this cute little phrase that he uses when he's walking behind me. He wants to let me know where he is... and he says, "Mommy, I'm behind your back." It's so cute - but so true of what God does for us!! He's behind our back. He can lead us and protect us all at the same time - from the back! I love this little stairway dance that John & I do in the house. It's almost like a choreographed routine. I know he's going to move when the stairs get steep. I know he's going to be there for any potential danger (even if it's just the danger of my own clumsy feet) and you know what? I love it!

I have to admit, that after reading this verse I had to confess that sometimes I've wondered where God was from time to time. Did He leave me - even if for a moment? Then I realized that He was there all the time - just in a different spot than I was used to. He was doing the stairway dance for my protection! I praised Him this morning for standing in the gap - especially when it got steep!

Think about your life this morning. Is God right before you where you can see Him? If so, thank Him and keep following Him! He knows the way that will lead you to success. If you can't see Him - turn around - and see if He's not standing in the gap for you - waiting to catch you if you fall and defending the enemy away from you! If this is the case - keep walking - don't look back - be confident that He can lead from the rear!!!

I love you all dearly!
Your sis in the faith,