Alison’s Story


I learned about it on my birthday last year. I had no idea he was in so much trouble. We were divorced in 2004, he had a good job that he enjoyed, and I thought he was doing well. Wrong answer.

I last saw him at a local gas station in 2013, and he seemed to be doing well. I hugged him, part of me will always love him, of course. We were married for 13 years, and that’s something, more than enough. He was a good man and we held no grudges. We had our problems, but if I knew he was under that kind of stress, the “my life isn’t worth anything” kind of trouble, my husband who had been sober for over 20 years would have gone over to see him and talk to him. He would have tried to help.

When someone you love kills themselves with a gun, it’s just sickening. It takes some time to get over it. There are just no words for it. Maybe I’ll never get over it completely, the scars remain. So we remember and honor the dead by trying to live well, no matter what. Some days that’s all we can do. And remember, no matter what.

DEAD SILENCE


Christie and I were recently dining out after a long day at work. As we were both seated at our table, I noticed another couple nearby, who apparently were living in their own world. Unfortunately, they were so caught up in their own individual interests, that they never even made eye contact with each other for long periods of time. In other words, here was another couple who were much more interested in their cyber world inside their own cell phones than anything going on in their immediate real world surroundings.

As they sat there in silence, I noticed a waitress who stopped at their table to fill up their coffee cups. She carefully poured the coffee, but this self-absorbed man and woman were too “busy” to even acknowledge her gracious service, much less offer a “thank you”. There are many reasons why we all devote too much time to our electronic devices, but to be so consumed and focused on a small cell phone while we miss real opportunities to interact with the world around us, is dangerously tragic.

This was yet another reminder for me and Christie. How interesting and sad that a couple who were actually older than us (imagine that! Ha!), had reached a point in their life where the only thing that could hold their interest for the moment was a small hand-held screen. Knowing I have been given a second chance at life, I am probably more aware of my surroundings, and how much wasted time I myself have spent on my phone and how important it is to enjoy the relationships God has given me. Sometimes they are sitting right across the dinner table from us, and that is why I never want to lose sight of my bride and her interests, even if I have to ignore your important phone call or Facebook post. No, the devices are not evil, but let’s remember Paul’s words in Ephesians 5, to make the most of our time, because the days we live in are evil. You would probably laugh at the times I have failed to blog! When given the choice, I prefer face to face communication (or by radio!), but for the sake of this blog, that simple dinner was a great reminder for me and Christie to be more aware of our surroundings, and most importantly each other!

God is not going to pay you back with problems.


I recently heard someone say “If I do this wrong-doing or that wrong-doing, God may take my kids away.” Can I just tell you God does not work like that. If that were true that means, we can only live a Christian life by good works. God is not a God of good works, the bible actually says, there are no good works we could do to earn our place in heaven. Yes, we should have a healthy fear of God, but not fearful. In my opinion when we become a Christian and start living a new life, we strive to please God and try not to disappoint Him in any way, but guess what we do. I know for myself that when I became a Christian I knew I was going to fall short every day, and I do. But I do not fear that because of my falling short, that God is going to do something horrible, or take my children away from me, or anything else along those lines. I think “Religion” not “Relationship” has made people show God in a way He does not want to be represented, that is what turns God off to others. Would you want to love someone only under the conditions that you had to be good all the time? God does not want that kind of love with us either, He wants to show us a kind, amazingly loving, forgiving, father, but yet, a strong Father that wants to discipline his children in the way a father should reprimand His children. God is a loving God; He loves you more than you will ever know. Sin entered the world when Eve disobeyed God and ate that stupid apple…. (when I am eating an apple I cannot believe that small little fruit is what turned the world upside down…and yes, I have a bone to pick with her when I get up there.) God intended for us to have a perfect world until she made that one wrong choice. Which shows us that we do have consequences for our actions, but HE never stops loving us, always holding his arms out to comfort us as little children. I don’t understand when something bad happens, we tend to blame God. God does not do these things, “Satan” does. As the word says “Satan” comes to still, kill and destroy. Friends I want you to know the God I know on such a personal level. Hopefully you will finally find the answers you need to fill that void in your life that no one can fill other than Him.

God Bless
Ronnie and Christie

The Power of a Praying Spouse


I cannot begin to tell you how much it means to me to have Ronnie get up in the mornings, sit on our bed, read the word to me, and then pray. There are some mornings I don’t feel like listening, (just being honest) but by the time he finishes, I am a totally different person. In a marriage this is such an important piece that needs to be done by both parties. When one of you are down, the other can lift you up. Going through some hard times the past few years, my husband may not even realize how he is pouring into my life.  He is consistent, he is showing me security, stability, and just how much he loves me by doing exactly what God has called him to do. I think this is so important for husbands and wives to give each other the gift of knowing Jesus more and more each day. Try to make a point every morning before the both of you leave home, that one of you share the word with the other continuously soaking in the word of God. Pour into each other’s lives as much as you can…you will be amazed of how it will bring you closer to each other and closer to Him. With Your Word as our source of wisdom, I trust Your Word to fill our home and relationship. Ronnie and Christie

Ephesians 1:8,17 

He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.

James 1:5

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

 

 

 

Life’s Little Lesson


Yesterday, I had a crazy day with just some “Stuff” going on that I allowed to steal my joy most of my afternoon. When I myself experience a wrong-doing to me, or a wrong-doing to one of my friends, or family, I can assure you I am like a mama cat on two legs with claws up in the air, showing my teeth like a cheetah ready to bite (imagine that.) Being one who speaks what’s on my mind which sometimes is not such a good trait, and sometimes gets me into trouble. It’s me, its who God made me, and it’s my own little personality.
 
When bringing truth or light to a situation that needs to be addressed, is not always easy, I do believe that God expects us NOT to be the one that sits back on the sideline never saying a word. The way God expects us to handle things are not always being quiet and comfortable, but being bold and uncomfortable. When we do not speak up in certain situations and sweep it under the rug as if it never happened, is not being who God calls us to be. With that being said, here is the amazing blessing I was left with yesterday. I was reaching out to a very dear friend of ours and called her last night to discuss the situation with her. When she answered the phone, I asked her how she was doing and she said “Christie” not too well” one of my very good friends committed suicide over the weekend.
 
My heart at that point completely changed from my petty problem to being filled with sympathy to the wife who was left behind. As most of you know, my husband prior to Ronnie committed suicide. All of the emotions from that day immediately came rushing back. I knew minute by minute what the wife that was left behind was feeling. I knew what that first night felt like, what the first morning felt like, and all the days to follow. Now, years later I still struggle with his suicide in one form or another. What a petty situation that was yesterday that stole my Joy compared to what this woman is going through this evening.
 
My friend helped me throw my perspectives back into place really quick. Today I woke up again, humbled, and putting my priorities of what really matters in life in order. How we let everyday life upset us in so many ways, when really they are just that, petty little things. I want to thank that sweet friend of mine, that God used her in my life in such a sweet way yesterday. See, God does use ordinary people in our lives every day, He uses those people in such a mighty way, and all in His timing. My lesson in getting upset at such petty things in life, is to realize how truly blessed I am each day, and how I can continue to sink my life into others, which in return takes my focus off of myself. Instead of me calling and upsetting her with my “stuff” my friend truly brought me back to my roots of who, and what, in life really matters. Thank you Jesus for working in such a beautiful way.
 
Do you find yourself in these types of situation’s, share one of your stories with Ronnie and I, we would love to hear from others and get your perspective on this?
 
We love doing life with all of you every day.
 
Proverbs 28:1
The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
 
 

Anxiety


I struggle with anxiety nearly everyday which has been caused by so many issues in my past. Someday’s I feel as if my head is going to explode. Just day to day living is sometimes almost more than I can stand. When I get in moments like this….and all this “stuff” starts filling my head, I just have to pause, remember who I am in Him and remember He is in control. This allows me to let go of that worry and anxiety for the day. It is pretty awesome to have a God that cares so much for me so much, that He loves me right where I am at, and surprise He loves you that way to!
He reminds us daily of His mercy and grace everyday. You see I try not to take on what others have labeled me, but to realize to rest in the comfort that He knows who I am! He made me, so He knows every ounce of my being, my feelings, my thoughts, and that in His name….I can be free of worry and the bondage of anxiety.
Praise God that He is such an awesome God that you do not have to struggle with this issue either anymore. Remember whenever it comes up, like it does with me daily….remember who you are in Him! That is all that matter’s in this lifetime is that we are pleasing to Him and not worried about what others say about us.
Ronnie and I have lost family, friends, and a whole lot more and sometimes that can fill our minds with our wrongdoings instead of focusing on the things we are doing right, the changes we have made in our lives, and that we have set our lives out-there to help others. Let me know if you to struggle with anxiety and worry and just how Ronnie and I can pray for you….till tomorrow God bles

Everyone needs an encouraging word!


As Christie and I continue to discover Tennessee and our new “culture”, we have embarked on a journey into my favorite time of year … Fall! This year, we are enjoying opportunities to meet new people in various towns throughout the Tennessee Valley and Northeast Georgia. Not only do I have the privilege of accompanying Christie, the speaker, but I get to join her as Author & Encourager at various Arts & Craft Festivals. Although I probably won’t blog nearly as often as my talented wife, I did notice a very important event that is often overlooked, while greeting attendees of a festival in Niota, TN.
 
How often do we see someone in need of an encouraging word, then tell them we will pray for them … maybe later or maybe never? You may have noticed a picture I posted on our Facebook page, Saturday 9/10, of a brief prayer meeting inside our “Hope Knows Your Name” tent at the festival. After meeting a lady who stopped by our tent, Christie joined hands with her, and our close ministry friend, Shannon Wright (who also is an author and speaker). As Christie prayed, it gave me a great sense of the importance of being ready “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4) to minister. It would have been very easy to wish the lady well and send her on her way, but instead, Christie took the time to pray with her, right then, right in the midst of people passing by, and taking the risk of losing craft and book sales. You can probably tell I am obviously proud of that moment, but I hope it also encourages you to take time to stop whatever you are doing, no matter how “important” it is, to stop and pray for someone in need at that very moment. And as far as I was concerned, the beautiful hand-made flower arrangements and her “Hope Knows Your Name” books seemed rather unimportant compared to the meaningful ministry moments we encountered at our first Festival in Niota!