There are no words as I sit here seeking what I can say in the midst of such tragic loss of life in our nation. Again. Devastation. Despair. Death. Destruction. They surround us. A family member texted me first thing this morning asking if I was watching the Today Show, and if I knew of the heinous shooting in Las Vegas. Last night as I lay awake in the wee hours of the morning unable to sleep, a rare thing for me, I turned on the TV while I waited for the Ibuprofen to kick in, seeking to find something mindless until I could fall asleep. What I saw was anything but mindless. I watched the shooting in Las Vegas unfold before my eyes. And as I did, I began to pray.
My heart was already heavy for a precious 17-year-old family friend who had lost her father on October 1st, 2000, and yesterday found herself also having to say goodbye to her mother as life support was pulled, on October 1st, 2017. My heavy heart turned to horrified. As I sit here looking for words this morning, facing this computer screen once again to write my monthly newsletter to you, there is one thing that is clear. The mood in our nation, in our world, is serious. Somber. Heavy. Like a wet blanket. Over us all. I won't be writing a "From the Homefront" section, or "Funnies From the Road" this time around. These times call for something more than a few funny stories to lighten the load. Because they can't begin to.
When we don't know what to pray, Romans 8:26 tells us, "The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."
Oh God, comfort all who mourn. It is senseless. Tragic. I only can find one word rolling off the tip of my tongue this morning. It is on repeat. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. The name that is above every name. The name that every knee will one day bow down to. Jesus. The Savior in the midst of the storms. The Provider in the midst of the problems. The Peace in the midst of panic. My Jesus is greater than any junk this world has to offer.
I know this. There will be a day when all of this ends. I have read the Word of God, cover to cover, and instead of starting my day by turning on the news to see what the world has to say about what is happening, I turn to the Bible to see what God has to say about is and what will be. In recent days I have refrained from even watching the news, to be quite honest. I need some Good News. And that is what my life will continue to be about, regardless of what is going on around me.
Yes, I am praying for the families of those whose beloveds were taken by a gunman. I have been where they find themselves today, and my prayers go up to the Father on behalf of them. The worst mass shooting in our nation's history is what we are witnessing, friends, brothers and sisters. Never before has this world needed to know there is hope. And I will continue to proclaim it. As we sing in our worship services, "There is power in the name of Jesus," I do not doubt that power for one minute. And His call to you and me is this, Luke 4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free."
Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."
When all the world around us is in chaos, may we seek the Prince of Peace, to rule and reign in our hearts, our minds, and lives. May we not only seek the Good News for ourselves, but may we live lives that point others to Him, as well. No, there are no words. Except for one. Jesus.
Look to Him today,
Ministry at a Glance:
The month of September was quite a busy one but oh how blessed it was. I started out the month in Monroe, NC at Benton heights Presbyterian Church for their beautiful ladies' night out. Then to First Baptist Church Keiser in Keiser, AR where I fell in love with some dear brothers and sisters. Back to South Carolina for the Carolina's Hospital Systems Senior Circle anniversary and then to Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church in West Columbia, SC. I finished out the month with the Guadalupe Christian Camp Women's Retreat in Carlsbad, NM where God poured His Spirit down on us just like the rain. Oh, thank you from the bottom of my heart to each of your for inviting me, welcoming me, and blessing me with the privilege of serving alongside of you in ministry. You are ALWAYS a little taste of heaven to me on this earth.
And just as busy as September was, October is looking about the same. I am so blessed that God has presented me so many opportunities to share and minister this fall. I am very much looking forward to these next few months and all the He has planned for His Kingdom purposes.
*Women's ministry leaders, pastors and worship leaders, as you are planning your upcoming Christmas/holiday season events, I would love for you to consider inviting me to come serve as your speaker/singer. I still have some open dates in November and December and would love to hear from you.
*Timeless Hymns II project in the works!*
I'm very excited to be heading to Austin, TX to record a new project in October with my friend/record company exec/producer Phillip Sandifer for a Timeless Hymns II project. Recording will be October 10th - 14th and I covet your prayers during the recording process.
On the Road Again:
Sunday, October 8th
Sister Circle Girlfriend's Getaway
North Charleston, SC
Sunday, October 15th
The Lakeway Church
Special Music a.m.
Thursday, October 19th
Good Hope Baptist Church
Saturday, October 21st
Church at Sandhurst
Sunday, October 22nd
West Florence Baptist Church
Saturday, October 28th
Elkin Valley Baptist Church
Home for the Holidays Women's Event
Sunday, October 29th
Elkin Valley Baptist Church
A Note from Allison
A few weeks ago, in the throws of 3 kids age 5 and under, I was struggling. Mentally, physically, spiritually...in every way. It had been a few months of transition since Ryan had been born, and y'all it had been hard. Someone constantly needing something: attention, food, a diaper change, a question answered, help with glue, teeth brushed, supervision outdoors, and it goes on and on. In my weariness I thought "why do we even have kids?" Now, I want to make sure everyone understands I am 100% happy with my life and my kids and I love them with everything in me. I don't for 1 millisecond regret anything about them. But, let's face it, little ones are exhausting and completely draining. And I struggled with this thought, a LOT! I felt like a horrible person and mom for even thinking this. And as I worked through these emotions for a week or so, I am so grateful that God answered this question for me. I was sitting in church that Sunday watching one of our pastors and his daughter on the front row. I watched her worship beside her dad, receiving from the Lord herself. And it hit me, that's why we have kids. To grow the future of the Kingdom. I am honored that God has given me 3 wonderful kids to raise in the knowledge of Him. We have children to impart on them who God is, so that they can impact and change their world. And with days like today the world is going to need Jesus and our kids to share Him with it. God help them and God help us!