surely by now you’ve figured out to “hope for the best but expect anything” from me here on the blog
last month I did my best to do 31 days of influential people–I think the final count was near 20ish-
and though I realize most of social media world has moved on to 30 days of thanksgiving
I’m not quite ready to start another countdown-although I guess technically this could be a dual post because I am eternally thankful for these three very influential men -each having played the role of my
It went without saying Sunday mornings=get up and get ready for church
as far back as I can remember and for that I am grateful because
-had I not been in church I wouldn’t have heard the heaven sent message that pierced my soul that opened my eyes to the sinner I am-that caused me to sprint to the altar and beg for forgiveness-committing my life to Christ-which prompted me to follow in believers baptism-in the neighbors pond with my pastor and forever friend Jeff Fuller
Jeff was young man when he stepped behind the pulpit of our little country church and best I recall-our little church was his very first church to pastor. I vividly remember his smile and laughter. Laughter+smile=joy.. Pastors are supposed to be joyful, right?!
It was Jeff who encouraged my momma and her sister Susan to start the childrens’ choir that grew and grew and GREW over the decade that followed that very first note..taking us all over the county and eventually to Washington DC -singing for the Lord.
speaking of singing…..
that makes me think of
picked up right where Jeff left off… if there was ever a more JOYful, LOVING, tender pastor this side of eternity than Brother Jimmy- I’ve yet to meet him.
Brother Jimmy loved like Jesus. He LOVED..and encouraged and cried and sang –all for Him. One of Brother Jimmy’s favorite hymns was “How Great Thou Art”. His strong voice and zeal for this particular song would’ve been enough to make Elvis cry if he had ever been able to make it through —but in the 12-13ish years that he was my pastor- I feel confident in saying that I don’t think I ever heard him sing the song in it’s entirety –not even one time–
A verse or two ? maybe to the chorus? -with his heart so full with a love so deep-he would begin to cry-big alligator tears cry-and so would we-
and more times than not he would shift to prayer-which often lead to a testimony or two or 4 or more —
praising, honoring the One who loves us so much that He sent his only son..
lest I fail to mention how kind he was…
the day Cowboy Dan and I were married-Brother Jimmy officiated-midway through the ceremony Brother Jimmy and I were both crying so hard a tissue would have done us no good–Brother Jimmy graciously shared his handkerchief with me–I’d squall and blow and then he’d squall and blow–I had myself so worked up when it came time to give my hand -I handed Cowboy Dan the wrong hand…
Brother Jimmy politely whispered, “the other left honey”
I can’t wait to see him in glory and hear him sing the whole “How Great Thou Art”!
which leads me to #3
I’ll never forget what J said in the car on the way home from church the first day we heard Brother Denny preach-
“If that don’t fire ya’ up-your wood’s wet!!”
Brother Denny is a gifted teaching pastor. Until we met Brother Denny a little over a decade ago-most of the messages we had heard were- BE SAVED! GET SAVED! BE READY to die! ARE YOU READY? DO you KNOW where you’re going?
I was saved & had come to Christ at 9ish. Sought forgiveness. Had committed my life to Christ! I am ready for Heaven!
NOW WHAT do I do?????????????
The spring we met Brother Denny we were in the desert of infertility. I was SAD-FRUSTATED-despearate. I had shared very little with people outside of our family & only a select few from our church when I went to him one Wednesday night asking for prayer. He did something no one else had done–he took me straight to the scriptures. He opened his Bible to the book of James chapter 5 verse 13
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray…Is there anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him….”
and then he asked his precious wife Ann to join J and I at the altar where we prayed-right then and there ..
that wise act of kindness was monumental for me
no one had ever said to me “hey-you know these scriptures we talk about and read from–they’re real! they’re ALIVE-they’re POWERFUL!-use them!”
Brother Denny was the first person to ever challenge me to pray scripture back to God.
He challenged us in one of his first few messages to journal our prayers. I had never heard such applicable ideas…so I thought I’d try it…I began journaling my prayers…and then I began to search the scriptures for help and encouragement-and you know what?? I found it…hope. encouragement. peace. direction -in the Word-
I began to write the scriptures down–weaving my prayers in and out like a braid–reading His word-sharing my heart-leading me back to the Word–again and again-
my thirst and hunger for the Word transformed
Brother Denny’s time at our little church was brief- He was the last pastor I ever sat under at the little church where I came to know the Lord, learned to sing of his goodness, met and married my sweetheart
and that’s okay-because had he not fulfilled that divine appointment and left as he had
J, the boys and I wouldn’t be where we are now
at Wills Valley Community Church
growing, serving & worshipping the Lord
under the teaching of Brother Denny
learning, repenting and journeying together
amen and amen and amen
ps-if you don’t have a home church we’d love to have you join us Sundays at 830 or 1030–your choice!