Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!

No long blog post today; just a Christmas greeting from the Noffsinger family to your family.
I want to thank each of you for all the encouraging emails, texts and words of encouragement that you have given me this year through this blog. I can honestly say that when I began blogging, I had no earthly idea what I was doing, but with each blog came so much encouragement that I have discovered I am not scared of blogging anymore!! I actually enjoy it.

I'd love to hear your favorite Christmas verse, so send me an email or leave us a comment.
Mine is John 1:14;
"The Word became flesh and dwells among us."

Do you know how hard it is to corral 7 little Noffsingers around the Christmas tree?? (especially right after Thanksgiving Dinner!)
This is our Christmas card to you! May you and yours have the merriest of Merry Christmas' and may 2013 be a blest and Happy New Year for each of you.

The girls l-r
Katie, Olivia, Sarah, Emily and Kara.
The boys are Alex and Tate. (and of course David)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Don't Let Your Marriage Become a Statistic

I am a great admirer of Billy Graham. When I was a child, tv was much, much different than tv today. We had 4 or 5 channels that we received into our home through a large antennae at the corner of our house. Along with regular programming, those stations would broadcast the Billy Graham Crusades, and they would advertise for days or weeks in advance that the "Billy Graham Crusade would be broadcast on their channel." My Mom and Dad and grandparents were Billy Graham admirers, too, and with much anticipation we would look forward to watching those crusades on our television. We could never have gone to those far away, often exotic places, but we could hear the Word and watch as hundreds, often thousands of people responded to his clear presentation of the gospel.

Several years ago, Billy Graham came to the Papa John Stadium in Louisville, Ky. My sister, Sherry, called me and said she wanted us to take my Mom to hear him "live and in person." We did, and what a thrill it was for my Mom to get to experience what she had only been able to watch from a tv screen. I am so thankful for that experience and so thankful Sherry included me in sharing it with our Mom. I enjoyed it so much that 2 nights later David and I attended the last night of the crusade.

I am also an admirer of Mrs. Graham and their daughter GiGi, and the entire family. I have several of their books and would one day love to go the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC. And then this past week I read something that shocked me; in my Home Life magazine I read an article by Tullian Tchividijian on "becoming an adult child of divorce." Surely not...surely I had read that wrong, but no, there it was in black and white. You see, Tullian is the son of GiGi and Stefan Tchividjian. GiGi and Stephan were married 41 years...they have 7 children and lots of grandchildren. Surely not them, she is Ruth and Billy Graham's daughter; it can't happen to them.

Then I heard of a couple who were married about the same time David and I were married and just a few months ago, after 41 years of marriage, they divorced. Surely not them, it can't happen to them, but it did.

In his article Tullian writes, "There had been no infidelity or abuse---in fact, my siblings and I are still scratching our heads, wondering exactly what happened." He and his siblings are not alone; statistics say that divorce among believers is the same as divorce among unbelievers and in most cases, their adult children have no idea what happened.

David and I are far from experts on marriage, but we do have a long track record. We have been married over 42 years, and while he would be the first to tell you, they haven't been perfect years, we are so thankful that we "stuck it out" and "stuck together" when it would have been so easy to become one the statistics.
We are blest to have parents and grandparents who stuck it out, too. My parents celebrated their 70th anniversary just 2 weeks before my Dad passed away. David's parents were married almost 58 years and we both had grandparents who were married 60+ years.

So in this day when marriage is being re-defined (there is no such thing, by the way, marriage is marriage the way God says it is marriage; 1 man 1 woman, final.), and when Satan is determined to destroy every home that he can possibly destroy, how do we stay married?

I have such a tender heart for young couples and, 2nd only to teaching my SS class, I love speaking to wives and Moms in the throws of those early years of marriage and raising their children. One thing the young women enjoy is a time of q & a at the end of the event. As a teacher and speaker, there is no way to prepare for this time, and sometimes I have to say, "I don't know", but I love their questions and love the transparency of those moments. Young married couples need older married couples to mentor them through those first years of marriage; they don't want to see "perfect", they want to see "real".

I teach a multi-generational SS class and have women of all ages and stages of life who read the blog. If you have been married for 25 years or more, will you respond with a word of encouragement for our younger married couples that just might be the very thing they are needing to hear today?

My word of encouragement for them is this; REMEMBER!
Remember the vows you made on your wedding day. Weren't they something like "for better or worse" (that takes in everything), "richer or poorer" (can't get too rich, can't get to poor to call it quits),
"in sickness and in health" (can't get too sick and sure can't get too healthy to chuck it all) "till death do us part" (that's a lifetime).

When he/she is driving you nuts, when you feel like you can't take it another minute, when you want to quit and move on, just remember anger and hurt feelings will pass in time, and remembering our commitment helps tender our hearts toward our mate.

Marriage is a covenant agreement between a man, a woman, and God. In preparing to write this blog, I asked David what one word of encouragement he had for you and your marriage and it cannot be love! That's a given, because without love, it can't be marriage. Plus, where would love and marriage be without 1 Peter 4:8; "Have fervent love for each other because love covers a multitude of sins!!"

He said it is important that at least one person in the marriage be an OPTIMIST. (and he is saying it with a smile.)
Yes, he is definitely an optimist. I prefer to say he has "deep faith." When things go wrong, I tend to panic, worry, fret. I say things like, "What are we going to do now?" He says, "Things will get better. God is in control." David looks for the good in people and the good in every situation.

A few years ago, we were praying about a certain situation and it seemed as if God didn't hear us. (ever felt that way?) I said to David, "Do you think God is even listening?" And he said, "If I didn't think He was listening, I wouldn't pray." That's faith. Faith in God and in His power to bring good out of everything and blessing out of ashes (Isaiah 61:3). For marriage to endure, we gotta have faith; faith in God and His sovereignty over our lives, and faith in each other.

So please...don't be a statistic. Give marriage a fighting chance by remembering your promises to each other. And look for the good in each other and in every situation. One day, you'll look back and be so glad you did.

Let us hear from you!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Getting Rid of the Clutter

I am a "pack rat". I do not like to throw anything away. The problem is, many of the things I hold onto need be thrown away!

I have some of the clothes my boys wore as children, toys, books, school papers, ball cards, and these are good things to keep. But some of the other stuff that fills the floor and walls of my basement......... who needs a broken mixer or mini blinds with bent slats??? And in 2012 who needs orange kitchen curtains and an avocado can opener from the '70's? (yes the 70's)

On the few occassions David and I have tried to clean out the basement we didn"t get very far because I wouldn't let him throw away anything. Needless to say, no one is invited into our basement. David says in case of a tornado, he'll take his chances upstairs not downstairs; it's safer.

Now, I wouldn't tell him this, but what needs to happen is for him to catch me gone for a day and clean out that basement and tell me about it after the orange curtains and avocado can opener are a part of our 1970"s history!!

But my real problem is...I have a hard time letting go of "stuff" that clutters me spiritually. Hurt feelings from umpteen years ago, anger over an unresolved issue, fear, worry, jealousy, (yes I admit it) and even letting go of pre-conceived ideas from decades past.

Since women tend to battle the same issues, I thought maybe you might have a problem letting go of some
"stuff", too. I'm a big fan of writing scriptures on index cards and keeping them where I can easily find them. Here are some scriptures for those times when you just need to "let go" of the stuff that clutters your mind and heart and keeps you from experiencing the true freedom in Christ that He purchased for us on Calvary.

When I need to let go of:
Fear: 2 Timothy 1:7; For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Isaiah 41:13; For I the Lord thy God will be thy right hand, and say to you, "Fear not, I will help you." (There are 365 "fear nots" in the Bible. Is there one for each day of the year? I think so.)
Hurt Feelings: How often are we to forgive those who hurt us? Jesus said to Peter, "7X70!!"
Worry: Psalm 91:15; He shall call upon me and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
Jealousy: Psalm 37:7; Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; fret not thyself because of those who are prosperous in his way.
Anger: Proverbs 15:1; A soft answer turns away wrath; but harsh words stir up anger.
Prejudice: All prejudice is rooted in pride. (and God hates pride; Prov. 8:13)

So... the only way to get rid of the clutter in my basement is to throw away the things that aren't worth keeping and bring some order and organazation to the things I want to keep. (easier for me to say than do.)
And the only way to get rid of the clutter in my mind and heart is to throw away those feelings and emotions that keep me from experiencing true freedom in Christ. And I do that by attacking them with scripture.

I just have to show you one little thing that I will keep forever!! A Fischer Price Farm Set from the 70"s with most of the pieces. (of course, I wouldn't have thrown any of them away)
It was such fun watching my grandkids play with
something I watched my kids play with. Now what could be a better reason for being a "pack-rat"?







Share with us some of your favorite scriptures for decluttering your mind and heart. We'd love to hear them.

And thank you so much for sharing this blog with your friends and family. And a big welcome to our sisters from Israel!

Penny

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Great Book and Other Stuff

Have you ever said something you wished you hadn't said? Several times a day, right? The proverbial "putting my foot in my mouth" syndrome gets me into more embarrassing situations than I care to share with you on this blog. I have made a discovery about myself; I am more likely to say the wrong thing, when I am in a situation where I don't know how to respond, and at those times when I just need to keep silent.

At the SBC in New Orleans last June, Dr. Dennis Swanberg (with a great deal of humor) shared several experiences he has had with being in situations where he spoke when he really didn't have anything to say. The one I loved best was when he and Dr. Billy Graham were sitting in rockers on the porch of Dr. Graham's home in North Carolina. Dr. Swanberg commented on how nice the rockers were and Dr. Graham said that he and Ruth had rockers on all the porches and how much they enjoyed inviting friends over and "sitting and rocking". After a few moments of silence, Dr. Swanberg said, "Cracker Barrel has nice rockers", to which Dr. Graham said, "Cracker Barrel has too many people." When I heard him tell that story, of course I laughed, but I could also identify with Dr. Swanberg and how he felt in that moment, in the presence of the most beloved preacher of our time. It reminded me of Peter's experience with Christ on the Mt. of Transfiguration.(Matt. 17:4) (I guess that's why I love Peter so much....I can identify with his impulsive-ness when it comes to speaking.)

Well, if you ever wished you could be more effective with your words, or if you long to respond in the right way, not react out of fear or impulse, then I have a great book I would like to recommend; "Unglued" by Lysa Terkeurst. I bought mine at Life Way for $10.00 and it is worth every cent. It's a great read and a fast read, so have your hi-liter handy because it is a book you will read again and refer to often.



September was a busy month at the Noffsinger household. Sarah had her 10th birthday and Kyle and April celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary. We celebrated Sarah's birthday on Labor Day with pizza and a flip-flop cake that Kesha created especially for Sarah.

This is Sarah, Emily and Kara. These 3 Noffsinger cousins are 10 years old.











The whole crew!!












When Katie saw this pic of her and her cousin Olivia, she said "MeMe, this would be a great pic for your blog." She is right, it is a great pic for the blog. This is our oldest granddaughter Katie and our youngest granddaughter, Olivia.


And of course I couldn't leave out the boys. Here are Tate and Alex.


I really hope you'll read the book, and if you do, let me know if it gives you some insight into those times when you come "unglued" and how through the power of the Holy Spirit, you can choose to respond instead of react.
Learn more about Lysa and her ministry at P31ministries.org
Love Ya'll,
Penny

Sarah and me leaving for church last Sunday!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Credit Where Credit is Due

I like to give credit where credit is due. When I quote someone I always want to give credit to the one who had the insight or made the observation. But I am also bad about jotting down something I think is noteworthy or profound and in my haste, forgetting to write down who said it. So you know where I am going with this......I read a great quote but don't remember who said it. But even though I cannot tell you the name of the person who made this profound statement, I still want to share it with you. And this is it:

In all of Babylon, no on knew who the 3 Hebrew boys were, until everyone else bowed down.

Is that not profound? Think about it; a narcissist king by the name of Nebuchadnezzar had an idol made of himself and commanded that at certain times when music began to play, every person in Babylon must bow down and worship his image. (Do you think he may have bowed down and worshipped it, too? I think so.) Across that flat, desert land, when the music began to play, millions and millions of Babylonians, Jews, and countless other ethnic groups fell on their faces and did just exactly as they were told, because the penalty for disobedience was certain death in a fiery furnace. Now imagine looking out over that vast expanse of people, all bowed to the ground with their faces buried in the hot sand, and then imagine the look on Nebuchadnezzer's face when he sees 3 young men still standing, defying his command. In such a large group of people, they were unnoticed until everyone else was on their knees. Unnoticed, just faces in the crowd, just 3 slave boys doing what they had been brought to Babylon to do until they were commanded to do something that went against every fiber of their spiritual being; bow down to anyone or anything that wasn't their El Shaddai, The Lord God Almighty.
As with all narcissist kings, Nebuchadnezzar was outraged that these 3 young men who were no more than slaves could so easily disregard a command from him. As the guards muscled their way through the crowd then roughly took them to stand before Nebuchadnezzar, I imagine all 3 were calm, poised, and unafraid. After all, they had just remained standing when their natural urges of self preservation would have been to kneel.

Nebuchadnezzar was willing to give them one more chance to escape certain death, but they told him they would not obey, no matter how many chances they were given. In full agreement with each other they spoke these words to the king;
Our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up. (Daniel 3:17, 18)

God did deliver these 3 young men because of their faith and 3000 years later we are still talking about them.

Now, I don't see you or me having to make a decision like they had to make. I hope none of us has our faith tested in the way their faith was tested. But the truth is, every believer experiences times when we feel like we're the only one standing. At work when our faith is challenged by the language we hear, the gossip, the untruths, it's hard to be the only one not joining in. When your kids want to go to a movie or a party that you know is not appropriate, and you say no, and they quickly remind you that their friend's Mom (she's your good friend, too) thinks it's OK, you can feel like the only one standing. Friends and family whom we thought believed as we do, often disappoint and kneel while we're left to stand alone.

Would Shadrach have stood alone? I believe he would have. What about Meshech or Abednego? Yes, I believe each young man had already settled that question in his heart. If one of them gave in and bowed, I believe the other 2 would have stood alone. But sometimes, circumstances and situations leave US standing alone. The next time your friend is the cool Mom and you're the Mom who has to say no, remember Shadrach, Meshech, and Abenego. It's OK to say no and stand up for what you know is right and what you know God wants you to do. I personally believe that even when we have to stand alone and say that awful word, no, our kids will one day think we're a cool Mom, too. (and maybe even be just a little bit proud of us for caring enough to make the tough decisions. Our kids are worth the "no".)

Spiritual warfare is tough, and it would be so nice if we could fight the battle once and that would be the end of it. But the truth is, as long as we are in this flesh, the fight continues. So keep standing!! We send a strong message and get noticed when we stand even though everyone around us is sitting. (or maybe even kneeling)

I love hearing from you and I appreciate your kind words of encouragement. Share with me a time when you felt like these 3 Hebrew boys and had to stand alone because of your faith. One day, when our faith becomes sight, we'll be so glad we stood.

Love you,
Penny

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Oh What a Night...Dr. Fred Luter at Dripping Spring Baptist Church!!

July 20, 2012 was an exciting night for our family. On that night, Dr. Fred Luter, the newly elected president of the SBC, preached a powerful and inspiring message at Dripping Spring Baptist Church on Watermelon Road in Olmstead, Ky. Our son, Jeff Noffsinger is pastor, and it was a night and an experience that his church family and family of origin will not soon forget. I know many of you were there and I am sure you will agree that the singing and the preaching were anointed. The choir was led by our good friend, Wesley Walker and they were superb. Three for Thee blessed us with "Oh Glorious Day". Our daughter-in-law Dana sings with the group as well as Wesley and Brooke Bibb. Their harmony is "easy on the ear" and smooth as silk. Jeff Boswell sang a beautiful song that blessed our hearts, and then Dr. Luter stirred us with the power of the Word!!

Oh what a message, oh what singing, and oh what a night!!

Dr. Luter, David, and me at Dripping Spring Baptist Church.
                                                                                                                                                                                             













                                        

Our son Jeff, his wife, Dana, our granddaughters
Kate and Kara, and Dr. Luter.                
                                                                                  












Our son Jeff and Dr. Luter behind the pulpit at Dripping Spring Baptist Church.

















Thanks John Vick for the great pics.

For great high-lites of the night, check out this website:

www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=38322 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

1st Baptist Atlanta and Panama City..all in 1 trip.

If you think it is hot in Kentucky, you should have been in Atlanta on June 30th when they recorded their hottest temp ever. David and I drove down that day and sweltering does not begin to describe it. July 1st was just as hot, but we didn't mind as much on that bright Sunday morning, because we were fulfilling a dream we had had for a long, long time; to visit 1st Baptist Church Atlanta and to hear, in person, Dr. Charles Stanley. (to our disappointment he had to leave the pulpit after preaching the 9 a.m. service due to inflammation in his hip. But the 2nd service went on as planned with great singing, and fellowship. We were blessed to watch the 9 a.m. service on the big screen and were not disappointed with the service and the experience one little bit!!)

We decided to attend the 11 o'clock service and we got to the campus about 45 minutes early so we could "see the sights." You know the old saying, "You can't go anywhere without finding somebody from Ky." So true. The first person we met took our picture and told us she "was born and raised in Owensboro, Ky." She graciously took this pic of David and me standing in front of a monument that boldly states the 10 Commandments.













We knew we wanted to sit close to the front of the auditorium, but it was filling up quickly. A few rows back we spotted 2 seats in a row of 4 and asked the lady seated in one of them if those were available. She assured us they were, we sat down, and soon were engaged in conversation with a long time member of the church. Her husband soon joined us, introductions were made and he really enjoyed hearing David talk. Nothing like that Kentucky accent and David does it so well!!!!!!
We now can say we have friends at 1st Baptist Atlanta. This is us with Harry and Deborah Thompson and they sure made us feel right at home.










On Monday we drove to Panama City and enjoyed a couple of days with Kyle and his family. It was also Alex's 4th birthday. This was the first time Olivia and Alex saw the ocean and it was great to share this experience with them. Oh, and they really enjoyed getting buried in the sand.

And what would a trip to Panama be without dinner at Angelos?? This is David and me, Kyle and his family. (Alex is taking a much deserved nap.)















































































Then off to the races! David and Kyle race to the finish line. Guess who won?????

We did a lot of other fun stuff and it was great enjoying a few days with our son and his family.








But I also learned something from this trip. Just because we're on vacation doesn't mean God doesn't want us to worship with other believers. Vacation time is a great time to step out of our comfort zone, find a body of believers where you don't know a single soul, and worship God together.
If you are a member of a small or medium size church, experience worship in a "big church". I loved the 1st Baptist Atlanta experience and am so glad we made the effort to attend. If you are a member of a "big church", find a small congregation of believers and enjoy the intimacy of fellowship that you can only experience in a smaller setting. 


Here is a great opportunity; on July 20th at 7 p.m., Dr. Fred Luter, the newly elected president of the
SBC will be preaching at Dripping Spring Baptist Church, 4145 Watermelon Rd., Olmstead Ky. 42265.
My son, Jeff Noffsinger is the pastor, and it will be a night of singing, (the trio Three for Thee will be singing along with a large choir) great preaching, and fellowship. Hope to see you there. You can contact the church at 270-726-3344 for more info. 


Hope you are having a great summer and enjoyed a great vacation!!
Hilldale Baptist MOPS, can't wait to see you in January.....it will be here before we know it.


Penny

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Servant's Heart

Dr. Charles Stanley said, "In the life of a Christian, the more you serve others, the happier you will be."

Our grandparents and our parents knew all about serving others. For them, serving was a way of life. Times were hard and it took neighbors working together, taking care of each other, even sacrificing at times in order to "just make it through".

I grew up in a church where helping others was a natural overflow of the love we had for Christ. My Dad truly had a servant's heart, and my Mom welcomed visitors to our home with a home cooked meal, pleasant conversation and tons of hospitality. We served because we actually wanted to, and because we knew it was "the right thing to do." And the neat thing is, kids and teens really like to serve, too. I hear so many people complain about how self-centered and self-serving this "younger generation" is, but if that is true, whose fault is it? Could it be they haven't seen an example of serving from us, the adults in their lives?

If you are a Mom, a grandmother, or hope to be a Mom one day, you will prepare your child for success as an adult when you teach by example a love for serving Christ by serving others. Here are 4 things you can do today to encourage the servant heart in your child. (That heart is already there, it just needs a good ole dose of teaching by example.)

1. You don't have to go to Africa to serve. 2 of our sons have been on mission trips out of the country, and one in the Northeast. Mission trips to foreign countries are vital to spreading the gospel message, but right in your own neighborhood serving opportunities abound. Involve your child in the mission projects sponsored by your church, but also do missions as a family. Take your small children with you when you take a meal to a lonely senior adult. Children are also a big help in preparing food baskets for the needy. Choose how your family can serve, then involve the whole family.

2. Let your children hear you pray for the needs around you. When someone looses their home in a house fire or a storm, a family goes through the death of a loved one, or you hear of the illness of a friend or family member, involve your children in praying for those needs. Whether it is around the dinner table, family devotions, or bedtime prayers, when we encourage our children to pray for the needs around them, we are teaching them that God loves and cares for everyone, and that He is the Source for all we need. Prayer leads to serving. Let your kids know that the best way to change the world is pray for the world.

3. Develop a biblical worldview by being alert to what is happening across the world. We live in a very big world and we serve a very big God. As we serve those in need around us, it won't take long for our eyes to open wide to the needs of the world. And as we see bigger and bigger needs, we develop in ourselves and our children a biblical world view of serving others. When you're watching the news and a report of a tsunami in Japan, an earthquake in Italy, or a "coup" in Sudan rushes across the tv screen, take that opportunity to encourage your older children and teens to pray for those affected by disasters, but also think about ways you can help from home. When we view life and our world as being in total subjection to the authority of Christ, we have a biblical world view.

4. As the old saying goes, "put your money where your mouth is." When an opportunity comes to give to those in need, discuss as a family what you can and should give, then give it. Many, many years ago, a gentleman in our church was so moved by the starvation in Ethiopia that he led our church to give $5,000 that went directly to buying food for those who were starving as a result of drought and war. I've never forgotten that, and it influenced my desire to serve others. Your kids won't forget either when you give of your financial resources to aid the hurting.

Several of the girls from our youth group got together last Friday and with servant hearts pruned and cleaned the flower beds of one of our senior adult ladies. One of the Moms from my Sunday School Class brought her 4 year old son, Emerson, along to teach him how important it is to serve others. He really worked hard, too. He and his trusty wagon pedaled all morning long hauling off debris. 4 is a great age to begin developing that servant's heart!!!



Mrs. Faye was so gracious to allow us to work in her flowerbeds. This is a pic of the group and more of
the girls serving.
















McDonald's is a great place to recuperate after a long morning of hard work!! What can you do today to make someone's life better, and yes, just a little easier? We are the hands and feet of Jesus so let's get busy with a servant's heart and a biblical worldview of what just one person can do when she has a desire to change the world around her!!       Happy Serving!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's VBS Time!

I say it every year; "I am not working in VBS this year. I'm too busy, let someone else do it, I'm just too tired and not really into it this year." But just like every other year for the past 37 years I was lined up last week with all the other teachers and students, marching in behind those 2 flags and the Bible, singing those songs, corralling errant 2 and 3 year olds, and so thankful that our church still does Bible School "the old fashioned way" with lots of games, crafts, food, and a nightly dose of the Word!!

My sister Janet and I taught the 1st and 2nd grade class and I say without partiality that they were the best class ever!! They loved the Bible stories and were amazed that a man named Jonah could actually live 3 whole days inside a fish's belly. Kids really are eager to hear what the Bible has to teach them and it is so important to fill their minds with truth while they are still young. Here are some our 1st and 2nd graders intently working on their lesson.





David helped in Bible school, too. He helped out with the 2s and 3s. Our grandson, Tate, my great nephew, Vince, and my great niece, Haven, were in the class. They were a rambunctious group and oh so much fun!! David made this simple yet profound statement early in the week and one I want to remember when talking with children. He said, "Children read our faces." Oh so true. I want to be "approachable" to children so that means I convey it by the look on my face. This is David and our soon to be 2 year old grandson, Tate Noffsinger.


Here are some more pics of our commencement program: This is Vince and Tate.











A few of the 2s and 3s at commencement; my great niece, Haven, is the cutey in the pink skirt.












Sarah had a great time in VBS, too. Her teacher Robyn did a great job!!



Are you involved in VBS at your church? Invest yourself in the lives of children and watch how the dividends
grow! And don't forget; "children read our faces."

Let me hear from you about your VBS experiences!!!

Penny






Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to all Moms!!

Happy Mother's Day to all Moms!!

May 16, 2010 my Mom saw Jesus. As her children, grandchildren, daughters-in-law and sons-in-law made a semi-circle around her bed in that hospital room, there was a sense of expectation that I cannot explain. We knew it wouldn't be long, we knew where she was going, we were excited for her to get there, but saddened at her passing. She died quietly, peacefully, just as she had lived for almost 90 years. She made no huge discoveries that changed mankind, she didn't work at an exciting job, or knew what we call important people. She just lived her life, loved her husband of 70 years, loved her children, loved her church and her friends. By the world's standard she was a simple woman of her time. Born July 3, 1920, she lived through the Great Depression, WW2, and saw many changes in our country. She was what some would call "old fashioned", but I call conservative. She was modest in her dress, her actions, and truly a lady. She raised 10 children in the same church where she became a Christian at the age of 9 years old, and where she served as a member for 80 years.

As she and my Dad began their life together, I'm sure neither of them could have imagined such a large family. I'm also sure they didn't have a clue what God would do with their faithfulness and obedience, nor could she have known that their influence would still be felt today and will be for a long, long time. But if you will indulge me for just a moment, I do have a point to this remembrance of my Mom.

In our family (children and grandchildren) there are school teachers, musicians, song writers, published authors, artist, CPA's, business owners, an interior designer and pastor's wife, 7 Baptist preachers, an inventor, (and I'm sure I'm leaving someone out) but my point is this: every Mom has the God-given potential to raise great kids and influence generations to come, despite huge obstacles. My Mom and Dad faced many huge obstacles raising us kids, and if they could do it, you can too!!

As a Mom, you have the most important job in the whole wide world. Kingdoms rise and fall by the influence of a Mother. (Just read 1st and 2nd Chronicles) You "will" leave a legacy, whether intentional or not, and that legacy has already started.

Here are 4 "legacy making attributes" I saw in my Mom that I believe will help every Mom leave a lasting legacy of Christ-like influence on her children.

1. Mama was a Christian, and not in just name only.
No matter how hard a Mom may try, unless this one thing is settled, she cannot spiritually influence her children. Good people can raise good kids, but only Christian Moms and Dads can raise them in the spiritual realm.

2. Mama put her children's needs above her own.
We've heard the expression, "It's not about me" and when it comes to mothering, that is so true. Children need to know that they are a priority with us and that we'll gladly forego our own comforts, miss a nights sleep, and do whatever is necessary to see that our children are loved and cared for.

3. Mama prayed for us and we knew it.
I recently had a young woman in my Bible Study Class ask me what she should pray for her children who were still very young. I told her to first and foremost pray for their salvation, then pray for whom they will they marry. She thought that was sort of funny until she thought about it for awhile. But with homes having the troubles they are having, it's never too early to pray for our children's future mate. It is also important for Moms to pray for "God's calling upon her children." God has a plan for each and every person (Jer.29:11) and our role as Moms is to pray God's plan for our kids; they are never too old, and never too young for us ask God to call our children to serve Him.

4. Mama was our Mom, not our friend.
I had lots of friends, but only one Mom. As an adult woman, she and I developed a friendship that was built upon our roles as Mother and daughter. But as a child, she was Mama and I was Penny. No one can take the place of Mom in a child's life.

When you know for sure that you are a Christian, you willingly put your children's needs above your own, you pray for your children to be saved, to marry the right person the first time, to become all God wants them to be, and you be Mom and let your kids be your kids, you will be building a legacy that will influence generation, after generation, after generation to come.

Proverbs 31:30;
Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears (respects, reverences, lives in awe of Him) the Lord, she shall be praised.

This my Mom, Shellie Russ, the way I will always remember her. Happy, Blessed Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Resurrection Day....3 Days Late!!

Happy Resurrection Day......3 days late. I hope you and your family had a great day together and you celebrated the miracle of miracles; our Risen Lord.

The Noffsinger family celebrated this blessed event on Saturday. With 2 pastors in the family and lots of church responsibilities for each of us, we discovered last Easter that getting together on Saturday before Easter gave us much more time together and we all were much more relaxed and less stressed. At Christmas each year, "the little Noffsingers" give a presentation pertaining to the birth of Christ. This year I wanted them to begin the tradition of making Easter significant to them and to give their MeMe and Papaw the thrill of seeing them perform. (Their parents got to watch, too.) Here is their presentation:





On the cross, On the cross, they put Jesus on the cross.


In the tomb, In the tomb, they placed Jesus in the tomb.


Up to Heaven, Up to Heaven, Jesus arose and went to Heaven.



Our youngest Noffsinger was fast asleep during the presentation, but he sure enjoyed finding those Easter Eggs!!



Here are some more pics of our day.












David didn't make into any of the pictures that day. Maybe it was because he was the one taking the pictures.. I'll be sure and post some of him at a later time. We had a great day and I am so thankful for the sacrifice Christ made for me on that good Friday more than 2000 years ago.

I love the apostle John's account of that resurrection morning because he gives us a woman's view of the empty tomb. And how precious those words, "I'll never leave you nor forsake you" (Heb. 13:5) must have seemed to Mary Magdalene as she viewed the place where He had lain, heard Him speak her name, and saw Him, in the flesh, standing before her. Maybe it was at that moment that she knew; she was never alone, she was never forsaken.
Neither am I, dear friend, and neither are you.
Happy Easter, Happy Resurrection morning.....3 days late.

Mother's Day is just a few weeks away. Do you have a word of wisdom that your Mom gave to you when you were a child that you would like to share with us? Email one sentence stating a word of advice or wisdom that your Mom gave you as a child that has shaped your life. I would like to publish them on my blog, with your permission of course.
Enjoy the day!!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

What's on Your Mind??

I've just discovered a new way to describe myself; I am a fixator. As I am typing this, I can tell that my computer isn't all that happy with this new word because it really isn't a word at all. It is trying to tell me that I can't possibly think I can use a word that cannot be found in "The Complete Christian Dictionary for Home and School." It may not be in my dictionary, but it definitely is a word that describes me to a "T".

Do you ever get something on your mind and no matter how hard you try to think about something else, you just can't get passed that one single thought that transcends all thoughts? Well guess what....you are a fixator too!

Since I haven't found this word in a dictionary, I'm going to go ahead and give it a definition; my definition.
A fixator is someone whose mind latches onto 1 negative thought, 1 past experience, 1 fear, 1 past embarrassment, or even 1 person, and cannot get that 1 thing out of her mind. Satan loves me best when I am a fixator. If he can tempt me with focusing on myself, then I'm not in the position for God to use me, because I am not focused on Him with my whole mind and soul.

For the last 3 weeks or so I've had a nagging little worry that shows up at all the wrong times. You know the times I'm talking about; times when you are with your family, everyone is laughing and having a good time, and you are too, until, your fixator kicks in and spoils your fun. Fixator can also show up at places like a church service where the Word is being preached and you feel the Spirit moving in your heart, but then, there's that ole fixator again, doing what he does best; distracting you from the truth and replacing it with a lie. He shows up when you are having lunch with your friends, at a ball game, and he even shows up when you're right in the middle of teaching a Sunday School lesson in your class. I know because I have experienced his presence just this past week.

A few days ago I received the April issue of the "Journey: Devotional for Women". I don't use it for my daily devotional time, but usually read the whole thing in one sitting. As I scanned the pages I read this one little quote and for the first time in a long time this fixator fixated on a new revelation. Are you ready?? Get a pen and index card and write this one down: Whatever you focus on grows. Now let that sink in all the way down to your toes. Isn't that just the most amazing truth you've heard in a long time?

What happens when you loose your patience with your 3 year old? You probably "stew" about it, then focus on that one minor incident, it grows in your mind into something much bigger, and before you know it, you've convinced yourself that you are a "terrible Mom." Whatever you focus on grows; ("bigger.") 


Your husband comes home and gives you the news that the company he is working for is closing down and he will soon be without a job. Suddenly all you can think about is the bills that need to be paid, the kids that need food and shoes and a zillion other things. What will your friends think, how do we tell the kids, what do we do? Whatever we focus on grows; ("bigger.")


You don't feel well. You go to the dr., a few days later his office calls and says, "We need to do more tests."
Immediately your mind fixates on the "what ifs" and that becomes all you can think about.
Whatever we focus on grows; ("bigger.")


I've experienced each of these scenarios and I know how scary life can be. I also know our enemy is always seeking ways to distract us from trusting God and to make sure we have plenty of fears to focus on and ensure that they grow bigger and bigger in our minds. But Jesus knows how scary life can be for us, and because He knows how we feel He gave us this promise in Luke 4:18; He sets captives free, gives sight to the blind, and gives liberty to those of us who are bruised by the enemy.


Will this fixator  ever be completely fixed?? Not as long as she is in this flesh and bone, but I'm sure going to work on it. As I steer my focus away from the situation and onto what God tells me to focus on in
Philippians 4:8, my mind will be renewed, ( Ephesians 4:23) and I will know perfect peace. (Isaiah 26:3)

Have a great "no fixator" day!

Penny

Monday, February 20, 2012

Great Day With Hilldale Baptist Church MOPS!!

Moms of Pre-schoolers are great and the Moms at Hlldale Baptist Church in Clarksville, TN proved that on Friday. (Feb. 17) They have great coordinators and great mentor Moms.
L-R
Judy--mentor Mom, Heather--coordinator, "me",  Diane-- coordinator, and Judy--mentor Mom.
Our 2 Judys are great Titus 2 women. Young women need mentors and each of us is an "older woman" to somebody! Read Titus 2:3-5. Now, are there any young (younger..) women who need you to be their Titus 2 woman??

What would a MOPS meeting be without food?? Heather did a great job seeing that the tables were attractive and inviting!

And everybody got something good to eat, Molly made sure of that. It may not have been the delicious casseroles, fruit, and desserts, but when you gotta eat, you gotta eat!!

And then it came time for me to do one of my most favorite things in all the world to do: encourage young Moms.

And everyone was so attentive!!!

It was a great day; new friendships were formed and I am very blest to have spent the morning with this great group of MOPS MOMS!!

Then my driver came to pick me up. We had lunch, stopped by the Mall, and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon together. (It was 56 degrees!!)

Thanks Hilldale MOPS for a great day and one I won't soon forget!! Penny