In my wildest
dreams I could never have visualized this
website. A few short years ago I didn't
see why a person would even 'NEED' a computer,
much less be online! But while home schooling
Jonathan I found that I had to join the
21st century or be left behind. I must admit
that when it came to this technology, Jonathan
had to take over the role of teacher. And
now, I don't know how I managed all those
years WITHOUT a computer! Can you relate?
I believe now
that it was the Lord calling me to continue
my ministry. He never ceases to amaze me.
Just when I think all is lost in a certain
situation, He steps in to 'save the day'
and turns what I see as defeat into a brand
new era in my life and a certain victory
over what I thought were unredeemable circumstances!
Stan and I
have traveled quite a bit for many years
around several states, holding concerts
and giving testimony. We loved it! It was
pretty hectic at times but we felt the Lord
had called us to do that so it was a pleasure
and we thrived in that way of life. But
a few years ago I became ill and had to
have a few surgeries. Since then, I've had
some long term and rather serious illnesses
and it all became too much of a hardship
for me to continue traveling.
decided that I'd have to retire from the
music ministry. I missed it so much and
felt like a 'boat without a paddle' as my
mom used to say. I was so discouraged. I
had made a few recordings and had music
in boxes that I would no longer be able
to sell at concerts. The small profit we
made on my CD and music sales allowed me
to continue recording, making new albums
and keeping me active with my music.
I had been
schooling our youngest, Jonathan, at home
since pre-school. He happens to be very
knowledgeable about computer programming
and he saw that Mom was in a slump and a
'sad sack' about not being so involved in
my music. He'd grown up seeing us involved
in music ministry, travels, meeting new
people. In fact, when he was 6 weeks old,
we went to Okla. City to record the vocals
for Leon McAuliffe's Gospel Album. Jonathan
had been with us when we'd traveled with
Leon and other groups of singers all around
several states surrounding Okla., even as
far as Tennessee, and Arizona. So, even
though Jonathan is not a musician himself,
the lifestyle was second nature to him,
as it was to my other children, Christine
and Shannon, now grown with homes of their
own. (see their pages in the gallery
.. PMSOP (proud mom showing off pictures!)
..back to the story ...
a kind and loving heart and he set out to
think of something that would perk me up
and help me stay 'afloat' in my music ministry.
He said, "Mom, why don't we make you
a website and then you can go online to
make your music available?"
I thought that
was a far fetched idea if I'd ever heard
one! Me .. on the internet. Besides, I was
suspicious of the internet in general. I
thought it was mainly a 'tool of the devil'
... you'd have to know me to understand
my reticence. My Mom used to tell me I was
born in the wrong century. I was always
the last one to give in and use new technology.
I was old fashioned in the ways of homemaking,
for instance. It was years after electric
mixers came out before I finally relented
and used one. Then it was many years after
everyone else was using pressure cookers
before I bought mine. (I've changed in that
way ... now I embrace anything that makes
We prayed about
it and the more Jonathan and Stan talked
to me about it, the more intrigued I became
with the idea. It was a scary thing for
me because I wasn't at all sure that God
would approve of me getting on the internet.
But, I figured that if the Lord was ok with
me giving it a try, it couldn't hurt and
it would prosper, and if He wasn't, then
nothing would come of it and I could just
to work creating the site and we launched
it on July 12, 2002. I still had my doubts.
But soon I had people finding my music and
letting me know the songs were a blessing,
encouraging and lifting them up. I began
to get a few orders for my CDs and I 'met'
some wonderful, precious brothers and sisters
in the Lord!
I knew practically
nothing about how the internet worked, but
little by little I began to feel more at
ease. Especially when some absolutely great
sisters in the Lord who had their own websites,
offered to help me get established, gave
me valuable advice, and just loved me as
a new 'team member' online in the ministry
of the Lord online! I don't know what I
would have done without the friendships
I've made since those early days of my website.
I learned so much from them about how to
reach out to people and bring them to visit
me here. I now have a mailing list of faithful
friends of this ministry and it's a joy
to have them as partners in what the Lord
has called me to.
I've been able
to publish my Bible Study Lessons here.
That was a blessing to me because I love
to teach! God put that love in my heart
just as He put the love of singing in my
heart. With my health the way it was at
the time the site was launched, I could
no longer lead Bible Studies. Another blessing!
The Lord truly can turn things that seem
a trial to our good.
One of the
most important things I've learned from
all this, is that the internet is NOT the
devil's territory! The ability to create
the technology that makes this media possible
came from the Lord. And as any technology,
it can be used for evil, but it can and
IS being used to spread the Gospel, and
connect believers in ways that could not
have been possible a few years ago. If anything,
I believe it's made the church stronger.
We have the opportunity to meet other believers
who may not be of our denomination or think
exactly the way we think about things, doctrinally
speaking. It's helped us to bridge the gaps
that caused us to be separated before.
The fact that
many of us have inspirational and testimonial
sites for all the world to see is a boon
to spreading the Gospel. Some people who
would not go to church can now sign online,
'surf' the internet and find family friendly
sites with content they can allow their
children to see and visit ... and in the
process come across some Christian sites
that have the plan of Salvation spelled
out to them without intimidation or pressure.
Seeds are planted by the things they read
or music a person hears while on some of
these sites. I hear about unsaved persons
finding Christian websites when they were
not even looking for them!
In this way,
we Christians are using the internet for
the Glory of the Lord. And every time there
is another word, another teaching, another
song, another testimony, another poem of
inspiration, humor, good clean fun, or spiritual,
we are taking territory away from the enemy!
Not to mention
the terrific social advantages. Some people
can't go far from their homes for different
reasons, but now they're not isolated anymore.
There is a network of friendly, loving people
who e-mail bits of encouragement, enlightenment,
information, tidbits of humor to brighten
the spirit, and more. And the prayers for
each other! There are prayer groups cropping
up all over the internet. People are coming
together to hold each other up in prayer
and for those loved ones who are in need.
A very dear
friend, Marjorie Castleberry wrote about
internet friendship as being a product of
the Lord's love for us and His desire to
bring us together in these hectic days we
live in our modern society. The way things
are of late, some of us just don't have
as much time to cultivate relationships
in the old way. Our horizons have broadened
tremendously in that area. It's a wonderful
way to explain this internet friendship
piece is on my other website, 'Christian
Inspirations.' But, it's so good and so
relevant to my relationship with the many
precious visitors to this site as well,
that I've published it here. It's titled:
Spirit and Truth" - I know you'll
be blessed if you take the time to read
what she wrote. I will always understand
internet friendships by the way Marjorie
explained it in her writing. Before it seemed
somewhat of a mystery, but now it's very
clear to me. I sincerely wish to share the
idea with you. So, please visit the page
if you want a special blessing!
have been given gifts such as writing, teaching,
singing, encouraging, wisdom, and more,
now have more of an avenue to lend their
talents than ever before and more people
can be touched by their gifts than we'd
ever dreamed possible. In short, the Lord
is using the Internet by using us on the
Internet After all, it belongs to Him!
thanks go to the many brothers and sisters
who have helped me and given me the gift
of their friendship since I've been online.
I pray they continue to be blessed as I
have been blessed.
I pray for
all the precious visitors to this site and
the other sites that lift up the Lord. I
pray that you may all be encouraged, blessed,
and your life made a little brighter by
your visit here. I pray for your health,
your spiritual prosperity, and your loved
ones. If there is anything here on my site
that helps you to know Jesus better and
adds something good to your day, then I
am truly blessed!
and everlasting gratitude goes to my son,
Jonathan, who first had this in his heart
to do for me, then worked so hard for many
hours creating the site, and now maintains
it by tending to the technical issues. Thank
you, son, for hearing from the Lord and
responding to His call in my behalf!
all who have come to this site, for visiting
God loves you and knows your name!
Love in Jesus,