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Preview: The Life of a Church Secretary

The Life of a Church Secretary



These are the rantings of both the blessings and curses of being a part-time church secretary (at a United Methodist church), a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers, a minister and a pastor's wife (both at an Assemblies of God church).



Updated: 2014-10-01T00:49:05.000-05:00

 



Christian Blogoshpere

2007-08-30T18:05:40.345-05:00

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I'm moving...

2007-08-11T17:07:08.007-05:00

...just my blog! Check me out on WordPress! http://redheadrev.wordpress.com/ I was tired of some lack of features here on Blogger, so I've decided to try WordPress. I've heard great things about it. I want to find out if it's true. Don;t be surprised if I try something else right away! For now though, you'll find me at the above link. Also, i'm still choosing a template, so it will probably keep changing for a while. Thanks!



The Lord surrounds me with His favor as a shield.

2008-11-13T13:24:49.748-05:00

My daughter Ella drew me a picture! While I was on the phone with my mom, on Sunday when she told me about my grandma, Ella was starting to whine and yell right next to me. Chris stopped her and told her to let me talk and explained why I was sad. Then Ella decided to draw me this picture.*As a disclaimer, I should add that all her drawings of people look like this. She draws the ribs! She drew this on the back of another picture. That is why the background looks strange. But, this is my grandma. Isn't it sweet? I love my Ella Belle!Sunday night I was reading Psalms looking for something comforting. I found Psalm 5. Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell.The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the Lord abhors. But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house;in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple.Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies-- make straight your way before me.Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction.Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit.Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall.Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. Some of it is scary, kinda of, but I really liked the the first and last two stanzas. I was crying out to God because of my fear that my grandma didn't make it to heaven and God comforted me and surrounded me with His favor. And I believe brought my grandma into His protection. I do feel assured of her destination now. I believe she did make it to heaven. And I know that no matter what, God is in control and is a just God. I must trust Him. And I must continue trying constantly to become more holy and obedient. I must further His Kingdom while I am here on Earth. I pray that I fulfill the goals He has for me and that I will be assured of the rest of my family's fate before they die.[...]



I Loved My Grandma!

2007-08-05T12:52:14.305-05:00

My grandma had quite a few grandkids and I was the third youngest. My brother was the youngest. By the time we came around, I think the novelty had worn off. But I still remember her fondly for several things.

When we would stay overnight at her house, she would let us watch TV till late at night. We didn't have cable at home, but she did and I remember watching Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite.

She always wanted to feed us! We would be stuffed and she would suggest we eat something more. We had a hard time convincing her we could not eat any more.

She once got a new comforter and all the trimmings and gave me her old set. It was big, pink, floral and lacy. I think it was pretty ugly now, but I absolutely loved it then. There were even satin sheets! That was luxury to me then.

She taught me to crochet. I forgot how, but I enjoyed learning from her. She also gave me a book about home crafts. It showed how to crochet and make various things for your house.

She was a nurse, so we always had to practice our CPR on her dummies when we went to her house. Along with that, she paid for our swim lessons.

One of the greatest things she did for me was save an old crazy quilt. My other grandma died when my mom was only 12 or 13. She had finished a quilt my great-grandmother never finished. My family and I moved a lot and were many times hard up for money. My mom didn't want to, but needed money so she was going to sell the quilt. My grandma Carmack bought it and then gave it back to her. She knew it's value lay more with my mom than anyone else. Thanks grandma!

I didn't know her that well. She wasn't one of those perfect grandmas that cooks and bakes your favorite things when you come over and she didn't spoil us. But she did love my brother and I and I loved her too.

I wish I had taken more time to get to know her after I grew up. Now it's too late, but I say thank you to her. Thanks for loving me and caring for me in the best way you could. Thanks for being yourself. I am glad you were my grandma!



My Regrets Hopes...

2008-11-13T13:24:50.391-05:00

(image) I just found out my grandma died this morning. It makes me very sad. I wasn't really close to her, but I wish I had been closer. I should have prayed for her more. I don't think she was saved. That's what just devastates me. If she had been saved I would only be sad for my family and I's loss. I would be happy for her gain. I wish I knew she had asked Jesus into her heart at the last minute. And I knew I should call her the other day and I didn't. Which makes me cry. Maybe I could have led her to the Lord! Maybe I missed my only opportunity.




(image) God, if this is so, please forgive me. And please be with my aunt and uncles through this difficult time. Especially my aunt who will be lost without anyone to care for and no job. Please bring someone to her to help her through this and please help me to be a witness to my family somehow. Help me to listen better and do what you ask. Help me to know what I can do now that will comfort my aunt and uncles. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Please pray with me for my family. Thanks.





(image) Thanks to my Aunt Christine Baker for the beautiful photos she had previously posted on the internet. The first picture is of my grandma as a child with her baby sister, Arline. (My grandma as a child.) Picture two is of my grandma, grandpa, Uncle Richard and Aunt Christine. (My grandma with children.) The third picture is my grandparents. (My grandma with grandchildren.)

Update: My mom seems to feel assurance from God that grandma is alright. My aunt, too believes my grandma was spiritual but only privately. I feel I must trust God. No matter what, I can't do anything now. I know God is just and if she truly believed that God was Lord, even if she didn't say so to anyone else, He will know.



And the winner is...

2007-08-05T10:56:28.320-05:00

ME!!! Booyah! I won the Faster Pastor race!

There was only one other pastor; Pastor Mike Beeler from Faith Gospel Tabernacle of Bad Axe. He was the winner last year when Chris raced. He was stiff competition! I think the only reason I won was because I have been adjusting my depression medicine. I have really terrible road rage. It's completely under control usually, but I figured it could only help me in a race, so I let it out. He cut me off at one point and I said to myself, "Oh, you are NOT going to win." That was the point at which it came out! It also helped that we had regular, front-wheel drive cars instead of the usual rear-wheel drive race cars. I didn't have to worry about letting the car slide because it wasn't supposed to. I guess that was the second biggest reason why I won. I wouldn't have done as well otherwise I don't think.

Because it was just the two of us, I only won $300, instead of the $1000 they said, and he got to take the food. The money was a little disappointing. (I was hoping to get more new windows in the parsonage. We are getting three new vinyl, double hung windows already, but we really need all 13 replaced.) It is still a blessing, though. I thank God for helping me to win. And, I was glad Pastor Beeler took the food. There was a lot of it and we were afraid it wouldn't fit in the van. Besides, their own church has a food pantry and as long as the food goes to people who need it, it doesn't really matter.

The other disappointing things were that Chris and the kids didn't make signs for me - :( - and I forgot I lent my camera to my mom and she was supposed to return it, but something came up. We stopped at the only gas station we saw after we realized we didn't have one, but they didn't sell them. So, no pictures. :( No signs. :( At least I got a really big trophy! When I get my camera back, I'll take a picture of it.

I have to say thanks to Kayla Kreh who loaned me her car. I banged it up some. Thanks for being such a great sport. She drives a purple car (I'm afraid I'm not sure what kind) with a number 5. Thanks for letting me use your car and win! I hope you win lots of races, too!

All in all, it was a great experience and I hope I get to do it again!



Oh my! Was that a bridge?

2007-08-03T12:06:17.884-05:00

(image) Kare 11 Photo

I've driven over that bridge! Oh, SCARY! I pray that no more are found dead! And I also pray for all the families of the four that have died. What a freak accident!

Kare11 News Story



Icon Buffet: Free icons for your computer and website!

2008-11-13T13:24:50.681-05:00

Just a quick advertisement! Join IconBuffet for great, free icons for your website. It's a fun community, too. Try it out!

Each month you receive ten free tokens that you use to purchase your favorite icons. You also receive stamps so that you can send other people icons and increase your points. There are also badges you receive when you reach certain goals. There is a forum with a lot of fun people. They have all kinds of icons from wedding icons dto Even if you are not sure about it, try it out! You may find you love it!

(image) Click this image to enlarge it.

Click the IconBuffet image link below so I get credit for your referral!




The Faster Pastor Race

2008-11-13T13:24:50.872-05:00

(image) On Saturday, I get to drive a stock car in the Faster Pastor Race at Owendale Speedway. You might say I'm a little scared! Chris did it last year and didn't want to embarrass himself again. He was afraid to go fast. I've been told by a man in our church, who used to race, that you HAVE to go fast to get around the corners and that you have to turn left to go right because you are letting the wheels slide! SCARY! And to make it worse, it is just a dirt track. I don't know if that is actually a bad thing or not, but it seems scarier! The stock car owners lend their cars to the pastors and we do ten laps. We have to collect canned goods to determine poll position. Chris was in the last starting position last year, out of only four though. I will probably be last too. I don't think that it really mattered with us all being amateurs, though. There was one paster, the winning one, that seemed to have experience last year. I wonder if I will be up against him. The winning pastor receives $1000 for their church and all the canned food collected is donated to his (or her) charity of choice. If I win, ours will be donated to the local food pantry at Trinity United Methodist Church. That picture is of Chris getting ready to race last year.



More Reading

2007-08-01T10:05:32.849-05:00

Last Sunday I preached on The Lord's Prayer. It was a rather hard subject for me. This is mostly because I don't pray enough and I know it. God helped me to write a very good sermon, but through it I felt compelled to commit to pray more. I pledged to God that I would read a chapter of a book, that makes me think more about God, every night for a year. I also pledged that I would do this reading before I read my nightly fiction. So, I started reading "Listening for God", by Marilyn Hontz again. I started reading it a while back, but never finished it. I like the book. Through reading that, I pledged to also read the Bible at the same time and pray. Now I don't really have time for the fiction at night! Somehow, that doesn't bother me. Which makes me very happy.

I have a new friend who is struggling to read the Bible. She has a hard time understanding it. (Any ideas or suggestions for her are appreciated.) But I found something in Marilyn's book that might have helped some. She wrote, "Since the Bible was written under inspiration, I need to ask the Lord to help me read it by that same inspiration." Doesn't that make a LOT of sense? I had never thought about it exactly like that before. I hope it helped her. I enjoyed being used by God to show someone else something.

I think I will grow a lot because of my pledge. I'm ashamed at my lack of having done these things regularly before, but I know God is continually working in me. And as long as I am willing to learn and be molded, I don't need to feel ashamed. Thank you God for molding me!



I Love Netflix!

2007-07-25T19:24:44.394-05:00

WOW! WOW! WOW! What else can I say? Well, let me think while you read...

Your price is lower!

Dear Elaine,

Great news! We're lowering the price of your 3 DVDs out at-a-time plan to $16.99 a month plus applicable taxes. Now you can enjoy Netflix for less!

You don't need to do a thing - except pay less. Your membership will automatically move to the lower price and be reflected in your Membership Terms and Details. The lower price will take effect beginning with your statement on or after July 23, 2007.

Your $16.99 plan not only gives you 3 DVDs out at-a-time but you can also watch 17 hours of movies and TV episodes instantly on your PC each month - for no additional charge.

Enjoy!
Your friends at Netflix


Since when do companies lower prices like this? How awesome! It makes me wonder why they are doing it, that's for sure! I just heard today that Wal-Mart is planning on lowering their prices because they are losing money. Retail Giant Slashing Prices I also read yesterday on Doug Clay's blog that Wal-Mart has put a value of $215,000 on each of it's customers. I find that very interesting. The rest of Doug Clay's post is also very interesting. I suggest that you read it. But, to continue, it would seem that Wal-Mart is lowering prices to keep customers. Smart move I would say. I'm not a huge fan of Wal-Mart (I love Target!), but they do have a successful business model. It benefits their company very well (but maybe no one else). Of course, I love lower prices, but not if it makes workers in other countries suffer (as with Wal-Mart from my understanding). I can't see that being the case with Netflix, though. So, I will just do a little happy dance for a price reduction of $1 per month! YAHOO!!!!



VBS

2008-11-13T13:24:52.046-05:00

This week I'm helping St. Peter Lutheran Church with their VBS. The theme is Quest for Truth. I get to help the kids do crafts! I love crafts, so it's a perfect job for me. My kids are in the youngest group and they have even brought two friends this week. Last year, both Chris and I helped but this year Chris is in a play and practice is every Monday through Thursday night. Friday night Chris scheduled a concert in the coffee shop he has going in our church basement. So, I offered to take some of the kids whose parents are also in the play. It made it a little easier for them this week.I enjoy seeing my kids learning and getting involved at things like this. One of the leaders asked for volunteers to pray and Ella's hand shot up. It was great. I have some idea what she would have prayed and it would have been hilarious, but I enjoy her enthusiasm. She would likely have prayed, Come Lord Jesus, be our guest and let this food to us be blessed. Maybe she'll still get a chance before the week is over. No matter what she prays I will be proud.Foster starts Headstart this fall and I've been a little concerned that he won't like it because he is a homebody. But last night at VBS he was singing and stomping to the music. Ella wasn't anywhere near him and he was perfectly happy. I don't think I need to be worried at all. And as an update on his burn, he is doing great. It will soon be healed.Tonight is water night. All the kids have to bring their swim suits. The 5th and 6th graders get to go swimming in someone's pool and everyone else gets to play water games. I think that they are all pretty brave. They start with age 3. My son is will be 3 at the end of September, but they let him stay because I'm helping. Can you imagine getting 15 two to four year olds in and out of their swim suits?! Yikes! That is why I like helping do crafts. None of that for me! I'm sure the teenagers in charge of them will do fine though. They have plenty of energy!These pictures are of my kids getting their certificates of completion and singing a great song titled, "Bugs for Lunch" (lyrics).[...]



TwitterMosaic

2008-11-13T13:24:52.117-05:00

I finally made it into a TwitterMosaic's image. I'm in the bottom right-hand corner. Can you find me?

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I found my picture twice. Check out what Twitter and TwitterMosaic are all about! Find me at http://twitter.com/ehooton. You can also find the original picture used to create the mosaic on TwitterMosaic's page.



New Software!

2007-07-16T15:21:54.926-05:00

I downloaded a new piece of software for free today (from Giveawayoftheday.com). Of course I had to try it out. Here is my photo album video! It's uploaded through YouTube.

(object) (embed)



Missionaries

2008-11-13T13:24:52.220-05:00

Today Josh Payne preached at my church. And Chris designed this awesome bulletin cover for today. Josh will soon be leaving for Russia again. I knew Josh from college, but I wouldn't say we new each other very well. It was still very nice to hang out with him today. After service all of us went to Ponderosa for lunch. Then we took a walk in downtown Bay City. We got to see the Appledore IV dock. It a tall ship that you can take a tour on and I guess sometimes they have meals on the ship, too. Then we went to the really huge antique mall. It was a fun afternoon. We don't have too many friends around where we live, so it was nice for a change.When Josh went to leave, Ella was so upset because she said she wanted to play a board game with Josh. I think that she assumed we would because when we have missionaries over to our house we usually do, but we went out to eat instead. She was heartbroken. She loves missionaries.Actually we all do. Most of our closest friends in the Michigan District of the Assemblies of God are missionaries. It is really kind of fun, but yet sad when they leave for years at a time. I really hope that we get to be missionaries someday. Chris believes he is called, but not sure of the timing. We both feel very strongly called to Sebewaing right now; and for the foreseeable future. I would like to be hear at least ten years. I used to say 5, but it has almost been 4 now and I want to be here longer. I think I could be called to missions. I don't really have "moments" when it is clear what God has called me to. I look back and realize that God was calling me my entire life to be a pastor's wife and a pastor. It's a slower process for me, I guess. I just really hope we get to be missionaries someday. I went to the Philippines last summer and I wish I could go back. I wish I could go on another missions trip to almost anywhere. I had such fun.While we were in the Philippines, we taught a seminar for pastor's wives. The theme was joy. I led a workshop on joy in difficulties. I told a lot of personal stuff, but I am so glad I did. What God told me to say; what my difficulties were, really encouraged the ladies. I'm so glad. They didn't really expect much during my workshop. They thought I was too young to have difficulties. Sometimes I wish they were right! But God used me to bless and encourage them. That is the kind of ministry I would love to do. The missionaries that led our trip, Dave and Debbie Johnson, have that kind of ministry. From what I saw, they encourage and help the local pastors. There is a General Council of the Philippines, but they aren't really in it from my understanding. They are there to be pastors to the pastors. I love that idea! And I'm not really great at street witnessing. I like talking to people, but I need to work on getting around to talking about Jesus. I think that I would really excel at a job of encouraging others, though. I guess I will just keep praying that God guides my steps and that I will obediently follow Him, even if it's not to the foreign mission field.[...]



Thoughts About Myself

2007-07-15T18:55:42.364-05:00

Check out this post! It really got me thinking. Which you can tell by my post size comment!

I really do feel a need for intercession. I feel a need to pray more myself, too. This past week I've been blogging more and it has really helped me. I have a hard time sitting down and praying, but I do pray a lot during the day. And most of the praying I do, I don't even realize I do. I do it subconsciously and only realize when I write about my day. It's kind of crazy. The problem with this way of praying is that I'm not always listening. I need to spend time with God separately so that I can listen to what he says better. Many times I realize I didn't listen after I do something the wrong way. It's like a light goes on in my head and says, "You were warned about this." And I realize I was, but I was only partly listening and so I didn't really hear it!

Besides all that, I need to take more time to study. I usually only study when I have to preach, but that doesn't put the Word in my heart like devotions do. What I could really use is a prayer buddy. If anyone would like to volunteer, please do so. I've actually been looking for someone to buddy up with or be mentored by for a long time. I could really use the accountability. It's just so hard to find someone when you live in a small town and are a pastor and pastor's wife. There are very few people you can be completely open with. I've been burned by saying to much to people before. So, seriously! If you need a prayer partner or would like to be mine even though you have another too, let me know! He He! This post has turned into an advertisement! But there has to be somebody out there who needs this same thing. And I hope this post will cause you to re-evaluate you prayer and study life, too.



Burns

2007-07-10T19:38:51.295-05:00

Today was trying. I had to go to Bad Axe for an appointment early this morning. I took Ella with me and she was pretty good. She got tired and bored though. On the way home we stopped and picked wildflowers. That was a lot of fun.

Then Chris made soup for lunch and before he got to add the cold water to Foster's soup, Foster folded his hands to pray. In the process, he spilled his soup on himself! It was awful! My poor little man got burned badly. He has first degree burns on his left buttock, left leg and two fingers. He has a second degree burn on right half of his tummy. It's quite a large area. We didn't know how bad it was and weren't sure if we should take him to the hospital, so I called a nurse friend who was nearby and she came and looked. His tummy had a blister that had broken before I really even saw the burn. It may have burst when I tore his t-shirt off him. But she said since it had burst we should take him. I was really pretty glad since I don't have experience dressing burns, and wanted the doctor to tell me what to do.

So, he's ok. But it was traumatic for all of us. My friend Bonnie, the nurse, took Ella to her house while we went to the hospital and invited us for supper afterwards. Wasn't that sweet? At the hospital, I told Foster I was really sorry he had got burned and he gave me the saddest face ever. I guess I had reminded him, because he was really very good. He never once cried at the hospital. Later, I asked if he was ever going to pray again. He gave me that look again, only a little toned down. Isn't that just the saddest thing? He got burned because he hit his bowl with his arm as he started to pray?!?!? It breaks my heart!

After we finished at the hospital and the nurse had given Foster four suckers and four stickers, we went and bought him a cool toy car. It's doors and hood open. He loves it! Then we went and got him an ice cream cone. He loved that too. He deserved it, too. He did make out like a bandit, though!

After that we went to get Ella and have dinner. Bonnie and Glenn had gone grocery shopping and Ella got to pick the dessert. She picked vanilla ice cream and blueberries. Not too bad a choice! Chris had play practice at six and the rest of us got home at about seven. The kids are in bed now. Whew! What a day!

Now I just have to change the dressing the next few days and somehow manage to keep it clean for a whole day at a time. With potty training, that might be quite a feat even with the worst spot on his tummy. But, I am so thankful he is ok and that God prevented anything worse happening to him. It was the potty training underwear that protected his most sensitive parts from being burned. Thank you God! And it was great to hear Ella pray for him, which she did very well. I asked Foster if he wanted me to pray for him and every time he nodded his head yes. That made me proud of my two kids. They love God. I guess all-in-all it was a pretty good day in that sense. I love my little man and my Ella Bella!



My Thoughts on Sunday's Sermon

2007-07-09T15:26:45.401-05:00

Well, I preached on Sunday and I think it went pretty well. My hubby said I only needed to put more feeling into what I was saying. I felt the feeling, but it's hard to really let it out in front of people and especially people who are just blankly gazing in your general direction. It really helps when people respond with amen and whatnot. A silent crowd is a tough crowd. But I will probably always be working on my delivery. I'm not really that great of a public speaker and I certainly don't enjoy it. Although, I don't get too nervous now. I might if it weren't my own church, though. I don't know since I haven't really tried anywhere else.

It was communion Sunday, but I didn't lead communion. I made a deal with Chris that I would lead communion the next time I am not preaching on communion Sunday. I've never done it before, so I know that the prep will be almost like preaching, at least the first time. So I have that to look forward to.

I preach again in three weeks. I'm catching up this summer. I need to preach at least 12 times a year. If I get ordained, it will go up to 15. We only have Sunday morning service because no one will come to any other services. We keep trying, but we end up at the church alone. It's kind of sad. Anyway, it's hard for Chris to give up the pulpit because there are so few times he preaches. If he doesn't preach at least once in three weeks, he starts going crazy. I'm serious. He is NOT fun to be around. So we have to carefully plan when I preach, especially if we have a guest speaker, like a missionary. I preached this week and Josh Payne, missionary in training to Russia, is coming Sunday. The Sunday after that is Chris and then me again. That way he should be okay to live with. :) Well, those are my thoughts for the day. Enjoy!



Why, Jesus?

2007-07-04T11:30:55.859-05:00

So, I was studying for my sermon last night and this morning and I had to question something Jesus did.
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. 5 "When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' 6 If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 8 "When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.' 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.'

16 "He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." 18 He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 NIV

Why did Jesus send these people out? Wasn't he getting well known enough without additional help? Of course I realize that any publicity is good publicity, but I still could not see a practical reason behind what he did. I'm a very practical, reasonable person. Things should always be reasonable and practical. I am a practical preacher, as well. This is a very good thing because my hubby preaches very philosophically. We balance each other well. Anyways, I realized as I continued to study,that there is a very good reason that Jesus sent these people out. He sent them out to advertise, but also to see which towns would listen to him. If they did not listen to those he sent out, he knew they would not listen to him. At this time, Jesus' last year of ministry, Jesus was running out of time and wanted to use his time wisely. The disciples went out, returned and reported back where Jesus should and should not go. That is very practical.

After that I got to wondering what this meant for us. Jesus has sent us out. What is the reason? We are to proclaim him and prepare the way for his second coming! He knows everything, but through our trying to preach to others, he knows who listens and who doesn't. When he returns, those who do not know him as their personal savior will be cast into hell. Those who do, will reign with him on Earth. What a great calling! And what great power we have at our hands to fulfill our calling!



Am I or not?

2007-07-06T16:19:51.600-05:00

Anne Marie is going to keep me on my toes. So here is my recent life. This post is a little more private in nature, but here it goes. A while back, my hubby and I made sure that more children were impossible. Now there should only be a 1 in 5000 chance of my getting pregnant. The reason for this is that I get post-partum depression that never goes away. My youngest is almost three and I still take meds in order to control it daily. Well, my period is late! I took a test and it's negative, but I am totally having pregnancy symptoms. It really should be impossible, but it's driving me crazy not knowing what is wrong with me. If it's not pregnancy, what is it? I've never been this late unless I was pregnant. The latest I've ever been is a week. It's now been 48 days since my last period. That's 20 days late! What is up??? So, i'm freaking out. I have a doctor appointment next Thursday for other reasons and if there is nothing by then I'll talk to the doctor, but I doubt he'll give me any reasonable explanation. He's just like that. He'll make my fears seem silly and I won't actually get any answers. I'm just really frustrated. I'm trying to leave the situation in God's hands, but it sure is hard.

On another note, I am preaching this Sunday again. Maybe I'll learn something really great as I study. Well, I know I will, but maybe it will help me to leave things in God's hands. I think I'll be preaching on being called again, but from Luke 10 where Jesus sends out the 70 (or 72).

Well, at least I feel better having written all this down. Now that the world knows my personal struggles against pregnancy. :)

UPDATE: It finally started! Hallelujah! What a relief!



A New Post and A New View of Life!!!

2007-06-15T09:19:08.574-05:00

Two different people have requested a new post. I have such a hard time deciding what to write! I guess I will write about last week. At the beginning of the week my husband and I were at the Credential Prep School. It was a requirement for getting our Ordination, which we hope to get next May.

I was really frustrated the week before that because we could not bring our kids with us and I always have a terrible time finding people to watch the kids overnight. I was so frustrated I told Chris that he should just go alone and I would just stay at home and be the pastor's wife. That is not like me AT ALL. I am not a pastor's wife. I am a pastor. I don't fit the normal mold, though. It's frustrating sometimes.

Anyways, I had to preach that Sunday and I was looking for scripture on the Triune God. I found Ephesians 4:1-6. The translation I read talked about your vocation. Here is the quote:

1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
KJV

That first verse really hit me hard. Vocation here means calling. We are all called to be Christ-like. Of course I could go on for 20 minutes about this (I did preach on it), but, basically, I am called to be a pastor and I need to walk worthy of that calling. That does not leave room for feeling sorry for myself or worrying about something God will take care of. I needed to trust that God was going to provide my need for a babysitter and I needed to trust that God had my best interests in mind when He called me. I needed to trust that He knew what He was doing and I needed to stop doubting my call simply because I was having difficulties.

The day after I read that, God did provide my need. Thank you God! I went to the Prep School and had a great time. I finally had some alone time with my dear hubby and my dear God. It was refreshing and enlightening. I thank God that He did call me. My life would be empty without Him and His purposes.



Vacation!

2007-04-25T15:14:55.103-05:00

I'm off on vacation in 2 hours. YAY! My family and I are going to Minnesota to visit my in-laws and then we will ride in my father-in-law's bus (he will pull our van behind the bus) to watch my brother-in-law, Tory, graduate from college. I can't wait to see everyone again. I also can't wait to see Minnesota again. I miss Minnesota. We are all packed and ready to go. We are just waiting for my dear hubby to finish at the church. We leave at 6 p.m.



Twitter

2007-04-03T23:00:29.988-05:00

I am now a twit; or is it twitterer? Keep track of me at http://twitter.com/ehooton. I am so obsessed with the internet! I love it, tho!



Freebies!

2007-04-25T15:10:18.496-05:00

I recently went to the Women in Ministry Getaway that our District puts on and I had such a blast! I met a bunch of great new friends! It was very relaxing and on the way home, we went to Coldstone! I LOVE Coldstone! I got to talk about my love of freebies! They even asked me to do a handout. I thought I would post it here. Websites to Check Out:http://www.freenclearstuff.com/forum/nfphpbb/ - become a member for the best freebies.www.freemusicfriday.com - free music about once a month on a Fridaywww.iconbuffet.com - free icons for your computer, website or wherever. If you are interested in this, email me at ehooton@msn.com and I will send you an invitation e-mail from them (I get points that way!).www.istockphoto.com - a free stock photo each week (great for bulletin covers) more of these sites: www.bigstockphotos.com, www.canstockphoto.comwww.doverpublications.com/sampler4 - free weekly clipart e-mail; these are all kinds of fun pictures.www.giveawayoftheday.com and http://game.giveawayoftheday.com - a free, fully licensed piece of software and game EVERY day! These aren’t free trials. They are fully functional!www.freecycle.org - Sign-up with your local group and trade unwanted stuff for free.http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agwop - This is a yahoo group for AG pastor’s wives. We swap recipes, ideas and generally are a support group to each other. The membership is limited to just pastor’s wives and the moderator verifies everyone so we all know we are safe to chat. Check it out! Tips: Create a new e-mail account for your freebies so you don’t get junk in your regular account. You can create a free account in many places like hotmail and yahoo. Download a form filler program so you only have to type your address once. Roboform at www.roboform.com is a great free program for that. It integrates with your internet browser and then you only click a button and the form is filled! Another helpful browser add-on is an ad and pop-up blocker program. I use Firefox as my internet browser. I think most people use Internet Explorer, but Firefox is great in that you can download add-ons (www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox). I really like the AdBlock Plus add-on (http://adblockplus.org/en/). The freebie forum has a lot of ads, but I never even knew they were there until I checked out the site while I was at work. Remember that not all freebie sites are good. A lot of them say they have freebies but they make you complete offers and these offers aren’t free. That’s why I recommend the freenclear forum. If a site asks for your credit card, be suspicious. It probably isn’t free. Check the freebies frequently (I check at least once a day) because many freebies are limited to a certain number of people. The sooner you get there the better chance you have. Don’t get upset if something doesn’t ever come. It happens sometimes, but at least you tried. You will feel worse if you hear you missed out by not trying to get something. It’s better to try than lose out. Most importantly: Have fun and enjoy your freebies! Stuff I Have Gotten Free: Toiletries: Deodorant, razors, pads, tampons, Noxzema, face masks, flushable wipes, Fibersure, vitamins Fun stuff: Take a look at www.lactosetolerance.org. It’s great for a laugh and they will send you a pack of stuff with a bumper sticker, button, magnet and sign. Others: computer games, software, movie tickets, ir[...]



Update

2007-03-13T09:55:41.684-05:00

I am really not a blogger. I don't enjoy writing and I don't keep things updated very well. But someone just looked at my blog from another site and It made me feel like I should probably blog something current. So this is it. Some updates about me are that I now have a MySpace. I thought My Space was dumb, but I found out it's really awesome. I've reconnected with friends from jr. high school. I love it! So what else you ask? I guess I only have one update. hehe.