Thursday, June 7, 2012


One year ago today, March 30, I took my last round of Chemo.  This morning I opened my devotion book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young and that's when I saw it written, "my last day of Chemo".  Last year I had highlighted the very first words on the page, "I AM TAKING CARE OF YOU, Trust Me at all times."  Today as I read those words, tears began to cascade down my cheeks as I realized how powerful those words were to me last year and how POWERFUL they still are to me today! 

I am taking care of you. Trust Me at all times. Trust Me in all circumstances. Trust Me with all your heart. When you are weary and everything seems to be going wrong, you can still utter these four words: “I trust You, Jesus.” By doing so, you release matters into My control, and you fall back into the security of My everlasting arms.

Before you arise from your bed in the morning, I have already arranged the events of your day. Every day provides many opportunities for you to learn My ways and grow closer to Me. Signs of My Presence brighten even the dullest day when you have eyes that really see. Search for Me as for hidden treasure. I will be found by you.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
—Proverbs 3:5

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, “Destroy him!” Deuteronomy 33:27

I had my doctor's appointment last week.  It was a VERY good visit.  I am scheduled for my next PT/CT Scan in June.  Although they cannot tell me, I am cancer free, they can tell me that I am a ONE YEAR AND THREE MONTH CANCER SURVIVOR, and I will continue to believe that I am cancer FREE!  

I will continue to trust that He will drive out the enemy, saying, “Destroy him!”



My Caffeine Gift From Jesus

After I left the parking lot having stopped by our local Christian Bookstore, Salt Cellar,  I looked up and saw the STARBUCKS sign.  All of a sudden I thought…………….I want a Caramel Macchiato   There was NO one in line.    I placed my order and started driving to the window.   That’s when the thought hit me…………I should have called the office and ask if anyone else would like something……………..but it was too late, I was already at the window to pay.  As I rolled my window down and the rich aroma that is only identifiable with a stop at STARBUCKS hit me in the face and out of nowhere the TEARS started.  The young man told me how much it was and I handed him my card.  It was pretty noticeable that I was tearing up and he said, “are you ok?”   Trying to smile instead of doing the “BLUBBER” I said yes!   As he prepared my order,  the realization of another milestone to my “normal” life had just happened.  It has been almost 2 years since I have  ordered a Caramel Macchiato   (one of my favorite, comfort drinks before cancer).  I pretty much cried all the way back to the office.  As I apologized to everyone in the office for not calling to see if they too wanted their favorite comfort drink, I began to BLUBBER again, as they laughed at me and cried with me over my STARBUCKS run and my caffeine gift  from Jesus!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Over the many years that Gary and I have lived in the Lawton/Ft. Sill community, we have attended MANY deployment and redeployment ceremonies.  With each one, a tear always finds its way, trickling down my cheek, when the National Anthem is played and we witness the tearful goodbyes or the joyous reunions of families and friends of soldiers.  My heart however, has never truly grasped the depth of those emotions until I stood in the stands waiting for our son to walk through the doors after a year in Afghanistan. 
The anticipation building with every moment was electrifying.   

I remember 6 years ago watching my son's expression as the doors opened to the sanctuary and he saw his bride walk through the doors.  It was a picture that could only be captured through the lens of my  heart.   It was priceless.  Equal to that photograph in my mind is the snapshot that I took when I saw Lisa's face as she watched with giddy anticipation for her soldier to walk through the doors at the SEC of Ft. Carson.  
Then the music started and the booming lyrics of "I'm Proud To Be An American" began and the tears began to flow.  I have reflected on that moment   Two soldiers, among many,  were being reunited.   One had fought on the battlefield for my freedom, and the other had fought on the battlefield of the homefront to preserve the peace and freedom of my son's  heart.    I'm so grateful! 

HE'S HOME!    Thank you all  for the many prayers you have prayed over the past year for Matt and Lisa!  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Recently we had the incredible BeYOUtiful Girlfriend’s event.  We had over 500 women in attendance, plus a few of our “boyfriends”!   The evening was filled with great food, fellowship and FANTASTIC entertainment with the LFA Jersey Girls, not to mention the very entertaining Runway Fashion Show!  Thanks to all of the models that participated, especially our AWESOME Pastors who were such great sports and who “lit the stage up”…………….LITERALLY.  (of course I wouldn’t be referring to the board shortsJ)   Our special guest, Lauren Nelson Faram was phenominal!  She spoke to the hearts of every person attending, from the Little Girlfriends to the mature Girlfriends!   It was such a great evening and I want to thank everyone that came together to make it one of our GREATEST Girlfriends events EVER! 
Something else happened that I shared briefly about, but would like to share a little more in detail.  In December of 2010 when I was diagnosed with cancer, I must be honest with you, I struggled with being able to see beyond my present circumstance.  I had many questions!  I had many concerns!  I cried A LOT!  One day I received a card from a dear friend and intercessor.  It was dated December 23, 2010.  It read:
                “My dear friend Debbie:  This morning I woke with you on my mind!:)  The reason for that is because the Lord gave me a dream about you! 
                In the dream you were very excited about a new door of opportunity……ministry…….following the Lord to a new place.  It was something I could tell by your words and countenance that it was a NEW work God was working in and through you!
                The joy radiating from your face was WONDERFUL!!!
                Also in the dream we were with a group of women walking into a room for an event…….not sure if it was a bible study or event…….BUT the point was that so many women kept coming in, more and more chairs had to be brought out and we the women of the church kept moving the chairs over to make room for more……..more……..and more!
                Debbie, I am so honored that the Lord chose me to speak to my heart about you in the night watch………….to encourage you!!  He knows the awesome journey you have walked so far and how THANKFUL & BLESSED you feel in your heart about the wonderful abundant blessings God has poured out upon you and yours to this very day…………….in the dream you expressed this too……….
                How awesome it was to see that praise for the past and then to see the THRILL in your heart for the future! 
                I am excited and encouraged myself that the Lord Jesus allowed me to see a glimmer of “ALL” that is GOOD that He has worked!”
                After receiving this encouraging, prophetic word, I referred to it many times during the difficult days of my TRUSTING journey.  It gave me HOPE! 
                This friend did not know that we were scheduled to be ordained.  Part of this prophesy concerning the NEW work God was going to do in and through me, was realized on April 26, 2011 when Gary and I were Ordained as ministers with the Assemblies of God.
                The rest of the prophesy was fulfilled on Friday night, April 20, 2012, when at our BeYOUtiful event, we sold out and had to continue to add more and more and more chairs. 

                I am rejoicing as I write this blog!  I am overtaken by His great mercy and grace! 
Grateful to serve with you!
Pastor Debbie

Thursday, March 29, 2012

WOW! Has it really been that long?

Wow!!  Has it really been that long?  When I looked at the date that I last wrote on the blog, I honestly thought something was wrong with the website!   But, no...........I have simply not updated my blog since January 11.  Between blogging for the church website, writing articles for GLife, and continuous interaction on Facebook, I have simply not been very diligent in keeping my personal blog updated.    So, here January we were very busy with the C2C (Connect to the Cause) Campaign here at LFA!    The Cause is all about making a difference.  It is about relationships, authenticity, and connection. 
 It's about connecting people to God!  
It is the springboard for the Compassion Ministry that LFA is launching in 2012.

  The first part of February we were in Orlando, Florida for the National Institute of Christian Living with Dr. Mark Rutland, President of ORU.   The middle of February we were in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the Greater Things Conference.  Since we were already in Louisiana, Gary and I decided to go visit my brother, Rick and his wife Maxine for a few days.  We had such a great time!   As Gary put it, "we were there to eat Maxine's cooking and visit."  Gary enjoyed the red beans and rice and the gumbo that Maxine made!  Although I couldn't eat it with all the wonderful spices that Maxine uses,  I certainly did my share of visiting!  We had such a GREAT time in their home. I Love them SO MUCH!
In March, I enjoyed taking my Girlfriend's Task Force on a Retreat to Coyote Ranch, in Wichita Falls, Texas.  I enjoyed the fun, fellowship and ministry time shared with these awesome women!   They serve alongside me in the Girlfriends Ministry.  Each one of them are gifted in so many ways.  They bless my life personally and they bring so much to the table as we minister to the women of  LFA!    
We are looking forward to a great year with the GIRFLRIENDS of LFA!   

This past week we again attended the National Institute of Christian Leadership with Dr. Mark Rutland at ORU in Tulsa, Oklahoma.   We are so grateful to our Pastor and Church Board for giving us this opportunity.  I am so thankful that my health is improving and that we are able to continue our education through the NICL.   We are learning so much! 

I am in the middle of planning our next Girlfriend's event which is coming up on April 20! 
I can't help but reflect on where I was this time last year. 
I weighed 112 lbs, I was bald, I had pretty much lost my voice and 
I was struggling to make it through the day. 
This is what I blogged on this day 1 year ago:

"I continue to be blessed by so many of you through Text, Facebook messages, e-mails, cards, etc. Although I may not be able to talk with you, my heart melts with love and appreciation for the continued love and support that me and my family have received from all of you!"

Today, my heart is full and running over!  
  • I have gained weight (thanks to all of the Oreo Blizzards and Mixes)
  •  My hair has COME BACK (curly, and I love it:) 
  • My voice is back (maybe not as strong as it use to be, but it's all good) 
  •  I am able to work a full day (most of the time:)
  • I am able to walk 1 mile (and sometimes 2) 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Every night before we say our goodnight to each other, we pray together.  Our prayers are very multifaceted, to include our family, friends, health, church family, etc.  
The prayers that we have been praying concerning our health over the past few years, have been very specific.   Recently, we have continued to pray that my salivary glands would function and that I would be able to eat more variety of foods.  As we prepared for the Daniel Fast, we knew that many of the recipes included tomato products.  So far,  tomatoes have not been tolerable.     When I have accidentally gotten a tomato on something, I would immediately feel the effects of it.  It just wasn’t worth the pain.   

Well today, Gary and I went to Olive Garden for lunch.    They have Minestrone, fresh vegetables, and beans in a light tomato broth.  It is a vegetarian classic.  I decided to try it.  After all, we had prayed before going into the Daniel Fast, that I would be able to tolerate the tomatoes.  The first bite I took was AMAZING!  The second bite I took was GLORIOUS!  The third bite I took I began to BLUBBER and could not stop!  I cried through the 2 BOWLS of Minestrone that I ate!   I kept saying to Gary “I don’t know why I am so emotional over this bowl of soup.”   But I quickly realized that these were tears of GRATEFULNESS!  For the first time since I began to recover from the trauma of this past year, I actually FEEL like I am going to be ok.   


Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Dreams or Goals?

Well, Christmas has come and gone, and the New Year is upon us.  With the New Year comes New Year’s Resolutions – most of which will never come to pass.  Too many sugar plums dancing in our heads, I guess!  The truth is, more resolutions are just dreams rather than goals.  I read once that a goal is a dream with a “deadline.”

Our grandson, Cinco, brought his mom and dad to our house for Christmas this year.  Cinco is four years old and kept asking his mom if he could open presents.  Shanda, our daughter, kept telling him, “not today–tomorrow.” On Christmas morning, the time finally arrived.  As we all gathered around the tree, with great anticipation and excitement, Cinco looked at his mom and said, “Mommy, is tomorrow, today?”  Unfortunately that is what seems to happen to our well-intended resolutions.  Tomorrow becomes today and today becomes yesterday and yesterday is too late.   I am going to put some deadlines on my dreams this year.  And then, like Cinco, I can get very excited when tomorrow is today!

May this coming year be a year of fulfilled dreams for you and your family!  And may your tomorrows be filled with the blessings of God!

Blessings, Gary

QUIET - The New Year

As the New Year approached I began to pray and ask God to give me a word for the coming year. To be honest, I anticipated more than just “ONE” word, but all I could hear Him say was, “Quiet.” As I thought about this “ONE” word, I went back to the Lord and said, “Can you give me more? I really thought I had enough ‘quiet’ time last year.” I sat in solitude for the better part of last year. But as I continued to pray and listen to the “quiet,” I realized the Lord wanted to continue to QUIET MY SPIRIT and have me sit in His presence. Over the course of this Trusting Journey, I was in a way forced to be “quiet.” I lost my strength, I lost my voice, and I lost time with my family and friends.   Now that I have begun the healing process, regaining strength, being able to eat, becoming more active and connected, I feel, at times, the overwhelming need to make up for lost time. My mind often runs at such a fast, breakneck speed; when I try to do everything my mind wants to do, it renders me exhausted physically. So, the Lord has once again reminded me to—be quiet—not to skimp on our time together, to resist the clamor of tasks waiting to be done.

The story of Mary and Martha found in Luke 10:38-42 gives us a glimpse of how important our time with Jesus is to Him.

38. As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. 
39. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. 
40. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.” 
41. The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. 
42. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it – it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

Basically Jesus is saying, when you choose to spend quality time with Him, you have chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from you!

My prayer for you during these early days of the New Year is that you will experience some “quiet” time with the Lord—time during our 21-day fast to pray, reflect, sit at the feet of Jesus, and thank Him for His faithfulness.

Much of our stress comes from trying to make things happen before God’s timing. Instead of jumping to conclusions or jumping too far ahead of God before He says it is time, we should slow down, let Him set our pace, and enjoy this Journey through the year 2012!