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Angela's Blog


July 24, 2011

posted Jul 24, 2011, 9:07 PM by First Baptist Church Old Hickory

I don’t understand God. I don’t.  I don’t know why some people get cancer. I don’t understand why babies die. I don’t know why some people go through live life bouncing from one heartbreaking tragedy to another. We look to God for answers to our questions. Sometimes those answers don’t come like we want them to. In times like these I can see why people get mad at God. I can see why, in the depths of their pain, they can’t see the hope God gives. (When our friends are going through the valley of life we must be on our knees and by their side praying for healing.) My heart is amazed when I read or hear life stories of people who have experienced great grief and cling to God through it all. God will give us the strength to make it through the valley when we keep our eyes fixed on Him.  

I do know that when I try to make God like me and think like me that is when I shake my head in despair and lose sight of His awesomeness and power. God’s word in Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  In Proverbs 3:5 we are instructed to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

I still don’t understand God. I don’t understand why things happen the way they do. But what I do know is that God is in control and He will not leave us to face this life alone. Isn’t it wonderful that we aren’t required to understand God’s ways in order to love Him?

 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.”  Isaiah 40:28

July 17, 2011

posted Jul 24, 2011, 9:05 PM by First Baptist Church Old Hickory

I have a few friends that have gone through financial difficulties. During this season in their lives they simply wouldn’t open their mail. Since they couldn’t face the bills that were coming in they chose not to look at them. Now, they knew that ignoring the bills didn’t make them go away but somehow avoiding the mail helped them escape from the grim reality hiding inside the envelopes.

I am guilty of this whole “if I don’t think about it then it isn’t real” mentality. It’s really a genetic trait on my mother’s side of the family. If I don’t look at my tire tread then I don’t really need new tires. If I don’t glace over at the dishes in the sink then they must all be clean and in the cabinets. If I talk about my grandmother in present tense and avoid going into her house then I can avoid the heartbreaking reality that she is gone.

The problem with avoiding is that it obviously doesn’t work for long. Eventually everything that we avoid will come to the surface. Sometimes we avoid because we are afraid and sometimes we avoid because we don’t feel like we can handle it. The solution is simple. God tells us in His word, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). His word also contains prayers from David when God saved him, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

I can’t face the hard and painful parts of life on my own. The good news is I don’t have to. I am actually instructed by God not to. He desires for us to turn to Him in all things. What are you avoiding?

July 10, 2011 My Lord's Prayer for Today

posted Jul 24, 2011, 9:02 PM by First Baptist Church Old Hickory

God, You are the God of the universe. My mind cannot begin to comprehend your vast awesomeness of your power and might. Youmy goings. You know my heart and my mind and love me anyway.

Thank you for providing not only my needs but also many of my wants. There is nothing that I have that is not a direct blessing from You. I pray that I never lose site that this world is my temporary home and possessions are only things. You will give me all that I need and much more. I pray that my eyes do not wander from your magnificent glory. I pray my heart never longs to be filled with things of this world and not of You.

I come before you humbly and ashamed of my sins. I am greatly undeserving of your grace and mercy but you have lavished it upon me anyway. I come to you pleading for your forgiveness of when I have failed to show your mercy and grace to others. I pray for eyes that see when I have hurt another and a heart without pride that quickly rights the wrongs I have committed.

Thank you for never placing anything in my path that I cannot overcome with Your mighty hand covering me. When I am tempted by the enemy I will, with You, come out on the other side victoriously. This happen when I fall into your arms and keep my eyes fixed on you and let You be God.

Thank you for Your words for me that remind me that “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” and that Your ways are higher than mine as well as Your thoughts. Thank you for Your promise that you will never leave me or forsake me and that nothing can separate me from Your love.

You are the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. Forever. Amen.

 are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. You are eternity fully God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  You spoke the world into existence. You are the God of Abraham and David and You are the God of me. Nothing happens in this world that hasn’t passed through your hands. You are surprised by nothing. You are the God of every continent, nation, tribe, and neighborhood but you know the number of hairs on my head. You know my comings and

July 3, 2011

posted Jul 24, 2011, 9:00 PM by First Baptist Church Old Hickory

Have I ever told you about one of my recurring dreams? I have had this dream twice. Both times I have dreamed this dream it has been vivid, clear and in color. It is more like an interjection of a dream within a dream because it is brief but exact. So, this is how it goes… I am at First Baptist Church Old Hickory and I assume it is Sunday morning.  I walk into the sanctuary at the door by the organ. The room is full and bustling. There are so many people walking around talking, laughing and hugging. Most of the people are standing but a few a sitting but everyone seems to be engaged with someone else. The room is bright with light streaming in through the windows. There is music playing but I can’t determine what kind but it is pleasing and inviting. There are faces I recognize and many that I don’t I feel the love and warmth in the room. Immediately a smile comes over my face and I am greeted by smiles and warm embraces.

 Doesn’t that sound wonderful? I don’t know or think that I have some sort of gift of prophecy but I do believe that God has given me glimpse behind the curtain of our future. I think one day I will walk in our sanctuary and the feeling of déjà vu will be overwhelming because God has shown me what I will see. I believe God has shown me our future to encourage me. I look at our church and where we are today and I get so excited!!! I know we are at the threshold of something BIG. I look around the room and I see people who love the Lord and love His people. I see people who are ready to be God in flesh to the world around them.

I love that I have a church family that I am proud of and brag on. I am thankful I am a part of the family of God and that He has placed me at Old Hickory First Baptist Church with you.

Makes me want to sing…”We are one in the bond of love; we are one in the bond of love. We have joined our spirits with the Spirit of God; we are one in the bond of love.

June 26, 2011

posted Jul 24, 2011, 8:56 PM by First Baptist Church Old Hickory

How do you worship God? Do you begin to worship God when you arrive at church? Do you worship during the week? What does worship look like or mean to you? When we worship God we can worship Him anywhere. He doesn’t want us to only worship Him inside these walls. From what I know about God, He wants us to worship Him in everything we do.

Before we can truly worship God we must first turn our focus on who He is. We must recognize He is holy, just, righteous, perfect, powerful, loving, wrathful and so much more. We must also make sure we worship God in truth. In John 4:24 we are told “God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” Our worship then needs to line up with truth in Scripture. Since God is Spirit, true worship should be pure and holy. It has to be a heart offering. It should change our heart by creating a greater desire to love and obey our God.

Remember that worship is for an audience of one and that one is God. Our worship isn’t to please us but to please God. When we focus on Who He is and what He has done for us then we can’t help but worship Him and be changed.

During our time together today we have an opportunity to worship our amazing God together in a way we don’t always experience. The “worship service” today will look and feel different but I encourage you to put aside any preconceived ideas you have about what worship should look and feel like. Focus on our God and the message of praise that will be poured out at the feet of Jesus. If we come to God to worship Him with our focus on His awesomeness and with a pure heart then we cannot worship Him incorrectly. We also cannot worship Him with too much excitement and enthusiasm. In Luke 19:40 Jesus told the people who tried to silence His worshippers that “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”  Let’s not remain silent in our worship. Give God your full expression of love in His presence today.

June 19,2011

posted Jul 24, 2011, 8:50 PM by First Baptist Church Old Hickory

Poor fathers. Father’s Day is a tough day at church. Unlike their female counterparts who celebrate Mother’s Day, fathers really get nothing but a tie and a hard way to go. We sing the praises of our mothers but we scold our fathers and instruct them on how to be better and point out all the places they have failed. Well, today I’m going to brag a little on my father.

I have been blessed with a wonderful father. He isn’t perfect but he is perfect for me. He was my first love, my first dance partner, my teacher and my example. We butt heads and can irritate each other quicker than most other people in the world but I know he is my protector and my biggest fan. I know his love is unconditional. Even when I have made mistakes, he might have been disappointed but he never stopped loving me or believing in me. He sees the person I can be and encourages me along the way. Our relationship isn’t always easy and once the dust settles from one of our disagreements we can laugh. We know it is just because I am so much like him (and that’s not a bad thing.)

I have watched him grow spiritually and he has been an inspiration to me in my walk with our Lord. In him I see the very heart of Christ. He is passionate about his family, his Lord, and this church. I have seen him shed tears in prayer because his heart is breaking.

I admire my father so much and I am thankful for him even when we clash. I know God blessed me with him to make me the person I am today.

If you don’t have a good relationship with your earthly father, know that you have a heavenly Father that loves you. God loved you before you were born; he loves you with all your faults and mistakes. There is nothing you can do that will make Him stop loving you and He desires a relationship with you. If you want to know more don’t let this day end without asking someone about Him.

1-30-2010

posted Jan 30, 2011, 8:52 PM by First Baptist Church Old Hickory

I have friends that have an opinion on everything. Really…everything from cat litter to which restaurant has the best butter. I, on the other hand, have discovered I have very few opinions. If you ask me what my favorite color is, I’ll have a hard time answering because I like them all. If you ask me where my favorite restaurant is I could list many because as long as they are doing the cooking and the cleaning up I’m loving them! I have always had to be careful of what information I listen to because many times if I am not educated in something I lean toward believing the last information I heard. It used to frighten me that I didn’t have strong opinions about things that others seemed so passionate about. Then I realized there is a difference between being opinionated and the truth.

I believe in the truth. It doesn’t matter which cereal brand is the crunchiest, but it matters what lines up with the truth of God. I don’t have an opinion about the truth. I believe in and know the truth. I know that Jesus said, “I am the Way the Truth and the Life and that NO one comes to the Father but through Me.”  That’s not an opinion…that’s just simple truth.

10-31-2010

posted Jan 30, 2011, 8:43 PM by First Baptist Church Old Hickory

Something I know for certain is that I have been carried before the throne of God every day of my life even before I took my first breath. My grandmother, Annie V Allen, has petitioned our Heavenly Father on my behalf faithfully my entire life. She doesn’t just pray in generalities either. She lays my challenges, struggles and victories at His feet. She loves on me by covering me completely in prayer. It’s not just me she prays for either because my husband and my boys are also specifically prayed for along with everyone she loves or is concerned about. When she says “I am praying for you” it means she has really talked and listened to God. When she prays for me, it is not a simple “be with my granddaughter today” but I know there has been an intimate conversation with her Lord taking specific circumstances of what she is praying for and spending time in His presence.

If she tells me she is “worried” about something then I know that means she isn’t really worried in the sense I use the word but it means she is in prayer about it and is petitioning her Lord on the matter. For an example, Scott has had some issues in school that have been heartbreaking and I know without a doubt that she has covered it in prayer because the strides that have been made have only come about through divine intervention. I could write for years about the ways her prayers have been answered. It is truly a beautiful legacy.

She is so comfortable and at ease talking to God that she prays all day long. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing” and my grandmother lives that daily and has as long as I can remember.  Some of my sweetest childhood memories are of when I would spend the night at her house. We would lie in the bed giggling about all sorts of things until my granddaddy told us it was time to go to sleep. Then we would say our prayers. I always knew these nighttime prayers weren’t her only talks with God. I knew early on that her Heavenly Father was the first one she wanted to speak to in the morning and the last one she spoke to as the day closed.

Her prayers are not fancy or pretentious but simple heartfelt conversations with her Father which reflect her wonderful Christian walk. I am thankful for a praying grandmother who loves me and that I love beyond words. I kind of have a feeling that when I am standing face to face with my Lord he is going to look at me and say something like, “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

8-29-2010

posted Jan 30, 2011, 8:42 PM by First Baptist Church Old Hickory

This week I attended the funeral of William Simpkins of Ashland City. He is the father and grandfather of two of my dear friends. (confused?) My friend Vicky is the daughter and my friend Rhonda is the granddaughter. Mr. & Mrs. Simpkins were having their last child at the same time their oldest son was beginning his family. Mr. Simpkins was an incredible man who lived a full life with a wonderful family. I am blessed to have known him.

Now, let me begin back in high school where I met Rhonda and Vicky. We had a little group of girlfriends and many of my memories are wrapped up in these friends. Through the years I have grown closer to Vicky and we have weathered many storms of life together. I still remain friends with Rhonda but we are just in different places in our lives. One thing remains true of Rhonda through all these years…she is funny and can tell a good story. The problem is the stories she tells are usually stories of whatever embarrassing moment you’d rather forget and erase from your memory.

This brings me to this week at the funeral visitation of Mr. Simpkins. This moment of grief became an opportunity for Rhonda, in an attempt to alleviate some of the sadness, to tell humorous stories.  While the tales were funny and made me smile, they weren’t how I would want people to see me now. I am not the girl I once was. I have surely grown up. I want to be known for the mother, daughter, wife and Christian that I am instead of the girl I once was.

I am ever so thankful for the memory of my Heavenly Father! Those silly impetuous moments of my youth are, to Him, as far as the east is to the west. They are at the bottom of the ocean to never been seen or brought up again.  He sees me for who I am today because that is who HE is making me to be.

I am not wishing those years of my youth to be forgotten I just wish my old friend could see me for who I am today and who I am becoming and I wish we could have new funny stories to tell. Thank you Lord for giving me the freedom to make new memories.

7-18-2010

posted Jan 30, 2011, 8:40 PM by First Baptist Church Old Hickory   [ updated Jan 30, 2011, 8:41 PM ]

Both of my sons are my “brothers in Christ Jesus”! Scott gave his heart to Christ when he was 8 and TJ did on July 4th! I love that they have both come to Jesus as children. They did not fully understand the magnitude and every aspect of their decisions but praise God they didn’t have to. They admitted they were sinners and asked for forgiveness. They believe that Jesus is the Son of God and died on the cross because of their sins. And they have both openly declared their love for Christ and are taking the first new “baby” steps to becoming the men of God I pray they become. I am humbly thankful to Jesus for moving in their lives as children to build that foundation of faith. They will not live sinless lives but they have a faithful and forgiving Father.

In Matthew 18 the disciples questioned Jesus saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Verse 2 tells us “He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Thank you God. 

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