Monday, August 15, 2011

Lord I Believe

June 3rd was the last time I wrote. I had no idea at that time that my world was about to crash down around me. I had no idea that what I wrote about I would soon be experiencing. The last 2 months have been one of the most painful times of my life. On June 8th my husband told me we were seperating. He said he didn't feel anything for me anymore and saw no hope for our marriage. A lot has happened since then, but I refuse to glorify Satan by spouting out details. 4 weeks ago, my husband stepped down from ministry, told our clients he was leaving, and moved away.

I have been up and down during this time. I have been sad, angry, bitter, jealous, confused, hurt, betrayed. What else can I say? Every day seems to be a mixture of emotions. Although many people have told me to give up and move on; I have felt God telling me to stand.

There has been good to. I have sought God earnestly and He has shown me where I was at fault. I did not appreciate the man that God had given me. I had become a very selfish, judgemental person. I have had to admit my faults and ask for forgiveness. God is faithful. I have searched scriptures to learn what a godly woman is supposed to be. I have a new desire to honor God and my husband by becoming the woman I am called to be. I have believed for my husband to come home. I have prayed for him to desire to serve God completely.

Today, I hit my bottom. It all just seems like to much for one person to handle. I have been put in a place I don't want to be. I am now the Director/Pastor of the ministry, President of the corporation, head of my family, all while trying to deal with my own hurting heart. I have not heard from Jody in about a week. Tonight I lost it. I wept and wept and wept. I have cried every day for over 2 months now. Tonight I cried out to God and pleaded with Him to give me something to hang on to or heal my heart and set me free. Even though I have never felt a release to give up, I really didn't expect a response from God either. Part of me wanted Him to say be free. Part of me wanted Him to numb the pain so I don't have to go through another day feeling empty and broken.

After 30 minutes of pleading and weeping, I got up and apologized to God that I have been given several scriptures to stand on, yet once again feel such total despair. I turned on Christian TV and scanned the channels looking for a speaker to listen to. I skipped over one particular person that I had no desire to listen to. Not finding anything, I went back through and skipped that speaker again. The third time through I felt that there simply wasn't anything worthwhile on and put the one speaker on that I did not want to listen to. He said, "Lord I believe." His message was on BELIEVE. Stop the self-pity and believe. Activate God through belief. It doesn't matter how big the problem is and how desperate it looks - God is working behind the scenes and he will resurrect the dead relationship. The whole message was for me. I wept somemore, took lots of notes, and thanked God that even though I did not believe, He answered my prayer within minutes.

My husband IS coming home. Better than when he left. He may have different plans in his heart, but God directs his steps. I am more determined to pray for him. Pray that he find no peace or comfort or acceptance in the world. Pray that the Holy Spirit continue to convict him. Pray that God do whatever needs to be done to bring restoration first to Him, then to the family.

Lord, I believe.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Heart Break and Awakening

My heart is grieving today for people that I seem helpless to help. Being in ministry hurts sometimes. People let you down or turn against you, but what really hurts me is pouring into people and then watching them walk right back to the enemies side worse than ever. I find myself wondering, did we fail them somehow? Is there something more we should have done? I also find myself wanting to respond to them. It seems to me so obvious that what they are doing is wrong, surely I can convince them that they are not in God's will. But I also feel like I am not suppose to respond. A couple I care about very much has split up. A couple that shared they felt called to be Pastors. Her husband has walked out on her and her children. He is now with one of our clients which means both of them have sat under our ministry. Both of them expressed love for God and a desire to serve Him. And now both of them are praising God for bringing them each other???????? My heart breaks. Breaks for people I care about very much. Breaks for 2 young children who now are being raised without a father. Breaks for my husband who is feeling the betrayal of losing a close friend. But more than anything, my heart breaks that these things are being done in the name of God.

How can people have any knowledge of God and think that breaking up a family and having an affair is God's will? This is so absurd to me that I want to reach out, want to explain how this is wrong in so many ways. Yet we have been slammed already. By standing by the wife in this situation and expressing that we do not agree, we are now in the crossfire. Now we are hearing all the garbage being said about us. That doesn't really bother me. I don't care if someone thinks I shouldn't be in ministry. I often think I shouldn't be in ministry. After all, I am in ministry because God called me here - not because I deserve it somehow. So that I can deal with. However, there is still something in me that wants to defend myself, but I learned a long time ago not to argue with the enemy. Its a waste of time and energy. God will take care of it.

It's the deception that bothers me. It's knowing where this will end up and how even more people will be hurt. I feel like I should be able to convince them of their wrong and end this. Yet I have learned that there is a deception so deep that it can even twist the word of God. Paul said turn them over to Satan so that's what I will do. I will let them go and pray that God deals swiftly. Pray that children are protected and hearts are healed. Pray that their eyes will be open and their hearts restored.

If anyone out there is reading this, let me encourage you PLEASE to stay in the Word. And examine where your thoughts are. The Bible says sin begins with a thought - that we dwell on - and eventually act on. Where have your thoughts been? Are they on Godly things? Are they on what you don't have, how you're mistreated, how much more you deserve? Examine your thoughts and get rid of those that do not line up with God. Before they grow into actions and become sin. I've seen it too many times now. I've seen it happen to Christian people. If you entertain the thoughts long enough, Satan will make sure you have an opportunity to act upon your desires. If you are not strong enough to resist, you could fall as well. And once deception sets in it seems that people find it difficult to even recognize truth any longer. So please - examine where you are. Check your thoughts. Let's serve God instead of self while we are here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Count it all joy

I taught Bible Study today. It was the first time since before Christmas that I taught/preached. I know I'm supposed to, but it's easy to make excuses and keep putting things off. For several weeks now, God has had me reading James. Not just reading, but really focused. Finally, I paid attention and realized I was supposed to be teaching the book of James. I called my hubby right away and told him I needed to commit to teach one day a week. Then I didn't mention it again so it was put off a few more weeks. Finally, last night he asked me to teach this morning. So I did. I Almost cancelled this morning. Said I wasn't ready and Jody offered to teach the class, but I knew I had to obey. So I committed to teach what i had - however short that might be. We talked for an hour on the first 8 verses. There is so much that I feel God saying and we literally tore apart the verses. Talked about the author, the time frame, the recipients, key words, application, etc. I love how the Word comes alive. "count it all joy when you face trials" I think that's in verse 2. Have a positive outlook. It doesn't mean you have to fake happiness when your struggling. It means stay positive. Know God is going to bring you through it. And He's going to bring good out of it. Stay focused. Don't give up, He has never failed you before and He is not about to start. Every trial you go through makes you stronger, better equipped to hang tight. How exciting! And God will put thongs in your path when you least expect them to help you get where you need to be.

I have struggled with my exercise routines since moving to Arizona. Back in Florida I was a member of the YMCA and I would go with a close friend until I was comfortable going on my own. I actually had that membership for a year and had never stepped foot in the building until this friend agreed to go with me! Honestly, the y was mostly seniors and somewhat out of shape people so I didn't mind going. We had looked into it here, but I wasn't impressed with the one we visited, so again, I kept putting it off. 2 weeks ago I found a deal on a 2 month family membership at a local fitness club for $20. So i bought it. (thank you Jesus, thank you Groupon!)I had until October to use it so I convinced myself that between now and then I
would take that step. And if I didn't, at least it was only $20. For the last 2 weeks I have beaten myself up for wasting the money - knowing full well I will never step foot into a "tennis, racquetball, and swim club." especially one in upper class Scottsdale.

I have every excuse. I'm waiting for my husband to join me. I need to get back on track first. Blah, blah, blah. Yesterday I decided to just go sign up. At least then my daughter might get some use out of the 2 months. My hubby went with me and we got our cards. Of course there was not one out of shape person in the whole place. But i noticed it was quiet during the day and I began to think just maybe I cow.d do this. Then I taught today. I taught that trials bring perseverance and steadfastness. I taught to have a positive outlook even in tough times. I taught to stay focused, embrace the hardships, and never give up. And then I went to the gym. By myself. Alone. And I went in. I climbed back on the elliptical for the first time in 8 months. It wasn't as quiet as I expected. The Phoenix fire department works out there, but I did not run away. I persevered. My right foot cramped horribly and both feet felt numb on the bottom but I completed over 3000 strokes in 30 minutes. And then I completed a full circuit of leg exercises. The best part? Half way through my hubby showed up and rode a bike for awhile. It felt good having him there, but I proved that I don't have to wait for him to do what I need to do for me. Today I persevered. I faced my trial. And I grew because of it.

Thanks James.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Whose Report will You Believe?

Time for another bought of total honesty. It seems so many of my postings are my intense struggles and I begin to wonder if I'm ever going to actually overcome and have something nice to say. So I vowed to start focusing on the positive. I tell people in my class that we process information through fear or through faith. We either look at something and base our decisions, opinions, actions, etc on what God says about it (FAITH), or we use our past (hurts, betrayals, spoken words, etc) to look at something and base our decisions, actions, etc (FEAR). I have noticed that I tend to be very negative and process through the past. I don't want to do that anymore. So I am working on changing my thought patterns. I'm trying to convince myself that even though God sees the same failures in my life that I see, He sees them differently. He doesn't look and condemn - instead he sees the potential in my life. He looks at my faults and says "though your sin be as scarlet, I can make you white as snow." (OK, that's the Terri Hall paraphrase, but it's close - google it, it's one of the major prophets; I think.) He looks at my faults and says, "My grace is sufficient for thee." I've got to start realizing that God isn't anywhere near as hard on me as I am. It's the enemy that wants to see us backed in a corner, giving up, warped in self condemnation.

Sometimes I think it's even harder in ministry, because you have plenty of people who will come along side of you and agree with every fault you can find. THey will even point out many more that you weren't aware of! It's imperative that we know who we are in God in order to overcome these times in our lives. So, that's what I've been thinking about lately. And the last 2 days I've been doing a lot of soul searching, prayer, and writing. I'm ready to make some changes. I'm ready to put some things into action. I will be writing later on the Satisfied blog so check it out if you don't read it already. I think what I've been dealing with the last couple days will help others to. See you there!
As the old song says; "Whose report will you believe? We will believe the report of the Lord!"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Where I'm at Today.

Today I sat down to read my Bible and I briefly asked God to give me understanding of His word. Usually I read through the Bible, starting at the beginning and simply moving forward, but today I felt God wanted me to read James. As I turned there I asked Him to help me focus, not just read because I should read, but to really get something out of His word. As I read the first chapter in the book of James, the last verse made a serious impact.

" Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." James 1:27

This one simple verse had a double impact on me today. First, I had to examine my life recently and ask myself honestly, "Am I caring for orphans and widows?" Jody & I founded Aiming High Ministries on outreach. Our heart was outreach.We took food to the homeless, collected clothes for needy children, served in the Katrina recovery, put together Christmas events for families, and ran a food pantry out of our dining room just because we wanted to make a difference. There's an amazing feeling that comes with serving others. But somewhere along the way, our paths seem to have narrowed. Now most of my time is spent at a desk - budgeting, writing letters, fundraising, developing programs. Sure, I believe we are still involved in outreach. Afterall, we run a recovery program and most people come in poor, lost, and needing different avenues of help. But I realized this morning that we're not OUT anymore. People come to us, we're not going to them.

I'm not being judgemental on us. We've only been here 5 months and the huge undertaking of aquiring a recovery center has taken most of our time and attention. But I believe God responded to my prayer because it's time add community outreach back into what we do as ministers. Praying that God will now guide us into what He desires for us to do. And I know He will.

Second, pure religion is to be unspotted from the world. Hmmmm. I've always heard the religion that pleases God is to care for the widows. I think most people tend to leave the second half of this verse off. (Or I've chosen to ignore that part!) God expects us to refrain from the ways of the world as much as He expects us to feed the poor.  Being set apart is important. Very important. This verse has become the cry of my heart: give me the boldness and desire to reach out to others, and the strength to live a life of holiness. I desire to overcome the things of this world so that I might be an example of Christ's power in the lives of others. Today was a great start.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Truth

I haven’t posted anything in quite awhile. No excuses, it just hasn’t happened. So much has been going on lately. We recently relocated to Phoenix Arizona from St Petersburg, FL. Moved our family, our ministry, everything. We vacationed in Phoenix back in May and just fell in love with the place. My husband (Pastor Jay) and I both felt God had put this place on our hearts and was calling us here. So here we are. It has not been an easy transaction, but it has been a smooth one. God provided the close to $5000.00 we needed to relocate: truck, fuel, rental car, food, rent, security, utility deposits, etc. My hubby went to Phoenix a month before us and was able to find a house for us to rent that fits us and our ministry. 1 week after arriving, we are settled and I love the house. That’s pretty amazing in itself since I didn’t help pick it!!

It hasn’t all been easy though. Our teenage daughter didn’t want to come. She misses her friends, her school, and the home she’s known for the past 12 years. It is hard being here and not having any women friends to talk to or spend time with. I know how she’s feeling. Also, my wonderful husband needs to find a job right away. He is director of a recovery center that helps us with housing, but it’s not enough to pay our bills. We are quickly running out of $ and bills are coming due, but I have peace. I admit, I’ve been worried about the electric bill (I’ve heard of $600 bills out here!), but I’m walking through it.

The stress of moving, the stress of finances, and the stress of leaving everything you know and love behind has taken it’s toll. My husband and I have been fighting a lot. I find myself lashing out and then regretting it later. Yes we are ministers, but we are not perfect. We have our struggles just like anyone else. And we just tend to take things out on those closest to us. I still have lessons to learn and things that God needs to work out in me. The awesome thing about our God is that He doesn’t turn away when we mess up, but He leads us through. That’s where I’ve been lately. Since we’ve been here, we’ve had incredible times of prayer and worship, yet I’m taking all my frustration out on my hubby instead of taking it to God. I was confronted with the seriousness of this a couple of nights ago.

Another person attacked my husband verbally. Said he wasn’t a true minister because he isn’t at the recovery center full time. Doesn’t matter that he has a family or needs to find a job – he is expected to always be available when someone needs him. (Ask any minister, this is a typical belief in the people we work with!) The comment bothered him. God began to show me how much he has taken on and he doesn’t gripe or complain or lash out at me. He is dealing with the same money issues that I am. He is a man who currently cannot provide for his family. He is doing his best in a new position and being judged unfairly. He has no close friends or confidants here and cannot even turn to his wife for encouragement. The one place that should be welcoming and safe for him has been a place of more attack. I have failed miserably lately and been totally absorbed in self. That is about to change.

I know we were called here. I know God wants us here and therefore He will provide for us. I believe there is destiny here for us. We need to draw closer together and go forward. I am committing to walk in faith and stop the garbage that has flowed from my tongue. Blessing and cursing from the same place? Not anymore. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I am committing to lift up my husband and speak faith into him and our situation. I will declare the goodness and provision of our God; no longer will I give the enemy power with my words. It is time to go forward. I declare it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Dear friends and partners,

Wow! God is stiring things up like only He can do and continuing to blow my mind! As many of you know, we received a burden 2 months ago for Pheonix, Arizona. Monday, July 26 we will be packing the truck and heading out. We will be traveling about 2300 miles over 3 days in a truck to get there. Fun, fun!

We will be restructuring a recovery center in Phoenix and birthing a ministry to young people called "The Edge." Our desire is to build a ministry where any denomination can come and worship and be accepted - church that doesn't look anything like church. Our desire is also to continue doing conferences and some other projects as the Lord leads. All of this may change as our plan is to copy Matt Pitt when the Basement was birthed. Simply pray, worship, read the word, and then do exactly what God says!!

God has moved quickly in the last 2 months to position and prepare us for this transition. He has provided the $3000 for moving. Jody just returned from a 3 week trip there and he was able to find a house that is being held for us and rented monthly so we are free to move as God instructs. The recovery center found a building to plant a church and Jody became their worship Pastor. This building also gives us a place to start our meetings at a resonable fee. One of my hearts cry was to have a solid covering as we stepped out into new territory and God has also answered that. Not only has Aiming High moved under this new covering, but so have we. Last Sunday, Jody and I were ordained and commissioned by Pastors Deon and Carmen Lett and Aiming High is now an affiliate of New Destiny. I keep hearing "completion" in my spirit. Many of you will understand the significance of this move. There is peace and security in knowing that you have a covering that will pray when they say they will pray. I am so excited that God has brought us under a couple that I love so much.

I can't even begin to explain the burning in my spirit for this new step. Phoenix is the meth capital and human trafficking capital of our country. It is the number one place for kidnapping and the Mexican mafia is strong, but God is stronger. Last week we took our youth group to camp as our last event together and a saw a vision of one tendril of smoke rising out of the middle of Florida. That smoke suddenly burst into a raging fire and the fire burned across Florida and into the midwest, consuming states as it reached into and covered Arizona. I was thinking it looked like a wildfire with the quickness that it started and spread. God showed me that when a wildfire is in full force, there is little man can do to stop it. They can try different things to weaken the fire, but the only real hope to stop a raging wildfire is to get it to burn itself out. Then He told me that this is the fire inside each of us - the enemy can come against us and try to discourage us, but he cannot have victory. The only way to defeat us is if WE allow the fire to go out. That's why it is so important to have connections with others, to encourage and uplift and come together - it keeps the fire raging.

That's my little sermonette for the day. No matter what it looks like in the natural, the enemy DOES NOT HAVE THE POWER TO PUT YOUR FIRE OUT! He cannot win!

Our number one greatest need is prayer. Please cover us, our daughter, Aiming High, our finances, etc. Jody will need to find a paying job when we get there to support us and our ministry will need to bring in finances to cover it's costs as well. We truly need every aspect of this journey covered in prayers. We are going into a place of darkness and the darkness doesn't want us there, but our God is able and He has linked us with powerful prayer warriors for a reason. I am hoping to get better at sending out regular prayer requests as I get settled. Also, please respond and let me know if you want to receive our newsletter. Of couse, we need financial assistant and donations can be made on our web-site at or if anyone is able. We love all of you and I look forward to seeing you the next time we're in the area.

Discovering Destiny!

Pastors Jody & Terri Hall

Fullfill Your Destiny!