Thursday, March 26, 2009


Last Sunday we had a wonderful missionary at our church, John Cook who is ministering in Canada. He spoke about finding the ministry that God has for you to do. Mostly it was focused on being a missionary. But it could be applied to any christian who is seeking to do God's will. I think one of the things that he said was very important and this is it in a nutshell: You won't get a burden in the church, you have to go out and see the need. I thought about that for a long time and have to agree with him.
I am prone to "guilt-trips" and was on one Sunday night when Brother Cook was preaching this message. I began to think that I wasn't in God's will because I work outside of the home. For the last few months I have been thinking it would be so much easier to stay home. Work has not been as much fun this year as it has been the last three years. So, I was feeling guilty about being there. However, the truth is that my job is a ministry that God gave to me. I fully believe that with all my heart.
From the time our daughter was born until the day she graduated from high-school I have been a "stay-at-home" mom. There were times when I worked on a short-term basis, but it was only for a few weeks at a time. I believe God's word that says that the young women are to be keepers at home. It was such a blessing when I realized that my home was my number one ministry. But when our daughter went to college I went with her and finally obtained my associate degree. (It had only taken me 25 years to finish what I had started when I was 18.)
Once I graduated from college, I knew that the Lord had another ministry for me outside of the home as a para-educator. I just didn't know where nor when. And I was content to just wait.
It didn't take long for God to open the door and tell me to walk on through. When I interviewed for the job, I knew that this was the one. When I was offered the position, I knew this was the one. And when I began the job, I knew that this was the one that God had chosen for me.
The thing that had become "wrong" with my job was that I had forgotten that it truly was a ministry from the Lord and for the Lord. It wasn't "My Job", it was "my ministry". And last Sunday night the Lord reminded me of that fact.

Monday, March 16, 2009

dealing with depression

Life can be hard. But I have learned so much along the way. And I am thankful for every moment of it. Thought I would write about something that I have had to deal with since I was eight years old. Depression. Don't do anything, except continue to read this with an open mind.
I can remember my first bout of depression like it was yesterday. My family was on a camping trip to Tillamook, Ore. We were on our way to town and an overwhelming sense of sadness filled my mind. I just wished I could die. I was crying for no reason and my mom had no sympathy for me. (Unknown, at that time, was that my mother also had depression.) Here I was a little, innocent child with feelings that I couldn't understand and couldn't control. All I could do was cry.
Since then I have had to deal with depression. I just never wanted to deal with it, nor to even admit that I had a problem. It was extremely embarrassing to admit that there was anything wrong with my mind. My pride was just as bad as my depression.
It was only a few years ago that I finally realized that mental illness is not a sign of weakness nor is it a sin. I have used prescription medication to help control the overwhelming feelings, but have recently decided to try a more natural approach. The side-effects of the prescription medications were worse than I could handle. So, I am now taking SAM-e, excercising, and realizing that "this too shall pass" when the depression gets bad. Most of the time, I feel fine and that is what I try to remember when I feel overwhelmed.
So, what is the truth that I have learned from the Lord? The greatest thing....that God loves me no matter what I think. I am accepted and loved in Jesus Christ, and that is what God sees when he looks at me. God doesn't see me; he sees his perfect Son. What could be more glorious? I am in him and he in me.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Greatest Truth and Blessing

The greatest truth and blessing that ever happened to me occured on April 16, 1976, Easter Sunday morning. That was when I truly accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.
I had been attending church from the time I was conceived. I made my first physical visit to church when I was a week old and had been attending ever since. My parents and siblings always went to church. It was just a part of our weekly routine. We attended a southern Baptist church and when I was eight years old I walked down the aisle. I thought that was all I needed to do to have my sins forgiven and an eternal home in Heaven. I can't remember a time when I began to believe in God. I always did. I read my Bible from the time I was eight and even got baptized then. I was pretty sure that I had a secure future in Heaven because I had walked to aisle and I believed in Jesus.
However, a couple years later, my folks decided that the Methodist church was the place for us. As a young teenager, the church taught me that I had to keep the ten commandments as best I could and do enough good deeds to get me to Heaven. Personally, I had a hard time with that because I had become very rebellous and hateful. I still attended church and believed in God, but was beginning to doubt what I was hearing. How could I know the truth?
Well, when I was sixteen, I couldn't get along with my parents anymore and went to live with another family half-way across the USA. This family was attending a different type of Baptist church, an independent Baptist church. I had never heard of them before. I figured a baptist church is the same as any other baptist church. So, I attended with them. It was easy to fit in with everyone there, because I had already heard much of what they said. However, there was something different. I kept hearing about Jesus and what He had done for me. I kept hearing that I needed to accept Him as my own personal Saviour. I thought that I had done that when I had walked down the aisle when I was eight. But something was really missing from my life.
I lived with this family for several months and began to realize that I was not going to go to Heaven when I died. I began to become convicted and started feeling guilty for the sins I had committed. Never before I had felt sorry for the wicked things that I had done. My mind felt shock. I came to understand that even though I had walked an aisle, I had never prayed and asked Jesus to save me from my sins, to forgive me, to accept Him as my Saviour.
On that Easter Sunday morning, the preacher's message was very clear. He spoke about the death of Jesus on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. He talked of the burial as a sign of the covering of my guilt. And he preached of the resurrection of Jesus as proof of His power as God. I was fully convinced of the love that God had for me and my great need of Him. When the invitation was given to come and pray, I was one of the first ones to go. A sweet lady talked to me and together we prayed. I can remember clearly that moment when I was on my knees, crying and praying. It was as if the room was empty except for Jesus and me. I accepted Him and He accepted me.
From that day, until this very moment, I know without a doubt that Jesus is my Saviour, my sins have been forgiven and cleansed, and that I have an eternal home in Heaven. There is so much more that He has done for me, but I will write about those later. Truth and Blessings.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Name Means Truth

I was born on December 7th, which is Pearl Harbor Day. "The day that will live in infiny.", according to President Roosevelt. Although I was born several years after that fateful day, it was still on the mind of the doctor who delivered me. He suggested that I be named Pearly Mae, since everyone born, at that time, in the southeast had two first names. My mother thought otherwise and named me after an aunt of my father. Alice Elizabeth...a name that I hated. It didn't matter that it was better than Pearly Mae, I still thought it was a horrible, old-fashioned name. The popular names were Cheryl or Sheri, which was what I wanted to be named. When I was in fourth grade I tried to "spice up" my name by spelling it with a "y" instead of the same old boring "i". Alyce seemed more exotic than Alice. However, my best friend, who had the beautiful name of Kathleen, made fun of me and that ended the new spelling of my name. From then on I was just plain Alice.
Of course in junior high I got called "Alice in Wonderland" a lot which caused me to hate my name even more. I was the only Alice that ever attended any of my schools and I never knew another Alice except for my great-aunt, until I was an adult. As a teenager it just wasn't cool to not be like anyone else. So to be the only Alice was hard. Whenever anyone asked me for my name, I would cringe and speak in the softest tone I could muster. Which caused me to have to repeat my name until it was loud enough to be heard correctly.
It wasn't until after the age of thirty that I finally came to appreciate my name. One day while I was reading my Bible, I came across a verse that I had known for years. It is found in John 17. Jesus Christ is speaking to His Father and Jesus says..."sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth." I wondered what the word "truth" was in the ancient Greek. So, I looked it up and was surprised to find that the Greek word for truth is "Alathyce". It was the orginional spelling of Alice. I was so joyous to have my name connected with God's Word. (I have always believed that the Bible is God's Holy Word, and that it is the Truth. And when I was a child I remember looking up the meaning of my name. Alice = truthful, loyal. But to realize that Alice comes from the ancient Greek word for truth, was a blessing to me.)
When I was pregnant with our daughter I knew that I wanted her to have my middle name of Elizabeth. So, I researched the meaning of that name which is "God of the oath, or Promise of God". So, my names mean "Truth of the Promise of God" or "Truth of God of the oath".
God's Word is Truth. He is the God of Truth. He keeps His Word. If you desire to know the Truth, then you need to read His Word.
I am so glad to have the name of Alice Elizabeth, because whenever I think of the meaning of my names, I think of the most precious book in the world. The Bible is my Truth. Alice, my name means truth.