WHAT A DIFFERENCE A WEEK MAKES

IMG-8319What a difference a week, a day, an hour, a minute, a second, a nanosecond makes! Extreme pain to extreme gain! Parker Phillips, our son, plays baseball for Austin Peay State University. Parker likes to compete and often chooses to play through the pain.  On Wednesday, April 4, 2018, his wrist was hurting so badly that he opted to miss the road trip to Southern Illinois. Instead, he visited the orthopedic clinic.  It was suggested that he had a small internal ganglion cyst, and that an MRI would be scheduled to confirm there was no further damage to his wrist. This was not a “Bible Bump” that we could hit with the physical Word of God, a Bible  and it would just disappear.  I hit it with the Word. My response was “Be healed wrist! Be healed!” This was not a statement I made lightly. I believed it.  Our pray warriors continued praying for Parker.

I trusted God’s word: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved and your house.”-Acts 16:31. Parker is still a part of our house. The Greek word for saved is “sozo” which means to save, keep safe, sound, restore to health, be healed, be whole, be complete.  It is the same word used in John 3:17, For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.    I believed that God saves us in every situation if we ask Him and believe Him.  So, we prayed and believed for Parker to be healed.

Parker’s MRI was at 9:00 am on Friday, April 6th.  He was told the MRI would be read immediately and that he would get the results in route to the Belmont game.  He texted at 11:00 am to confirm that it was a cyst.  He said he was going to “see” how it felt during pregame batting practice.  The trainer called to answer my questions. I asked what was next.  She said that they would meet with orthopedic doctor on the following Tuesday to discuss options and pain management. She stated he was hitting well during BP, but that he would sit out the first game because it was still very painful.

At snowy game time on Saturday, April 7th, Parker’s wrist was the same. He did not start.  The third inning rolled around. I saw Parker pick up a bat like he was going to swing. This went on for a couple of innings.  I was puzzled.  It was not until the after the game that I found out the whole story.

During pregame, Parker was goofing off.  He hit his braced wrist on a team mates shoulder.  He felt excruciating pain.  His immediate thoughts were that it was broken, and he was done.  However, my God’s thoughts were “I know the plans I think for you, says the Lord, plans for peace (* whole, health, complete, sound) and not for evil (*bad, pain, worse than, worst; injury), to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” -Jeremiah 29:11-13. In the third inning, he said his hand felt different.  He took off the brace and lifted himself off the bench with the wrist. He had not been able to do that before. He swung the bat. No pain. It was weak, but no pain. He told the Coach.  Coach shook his head at Park’s and sent him to the trainer.  The trainer said, “No way!” She put Parker through some tests and then instructed him do a push up.  He did push-up’s! His wrist was instantly healed. Parker was back in the line up the very next day.

 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my plans than your plans.10 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:11 So shall my word be that goes  forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isiah 55:8-11)

God’s word says that Jesus “took the stripes on His back for our healing.”(Isiah 53 & 1 Peter 2:24) We prayed His word. He heard it. Parker was healed that day. We got our miracle.  Many will say whatever that was just a coincidence. His Word says, “…I am the Lord that heals you.” (Exodus 15:26) He also says, “For I am the Lord, I change not…” (Malachi 3:26). If you do not look for the miracles in your life that God grants every day, you will not see them.  You are missing out on a great God who loves you so much and has great plans for you, if you believe him.  I choose to give glory where glory is due. I loved God’s way of healing Parker. I liked it much better than man’s alternatives of medicine, shots or surgery.  See the miracle in the moment!

Now, let me tell you what a difference a week makes. One week, after Parker’s injury and healing, he had the day of a lifetime on the baseball field.  In a double header against Eastern Kentucky, he hit 5 home runs. He finished the three-game series 8-for-13 (.615 batting average) and 12 RBI’s.  He was named adidas® Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week and Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week. You can read about it here if you have not already. (http://www.letsgopeay.com/news/2018/4/16/baseball-phillips-nabs-ovc-national-honors-after-monster-week.aspx)

Don’t get me wrong, Parker works very, very hard. However, all glory goes to God for what happened last week.  He was injured, receive a nanosecond healing and then went on to have a career game all within one week Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. -Ephesians 3:20-21

IMG-8323

Photo credits: Letsgopeay.com

*Hebrew definition

WHY SO MUCH PAIN?

 

After seeing, “I Can Only Imagine,” the movie, my biggest question to my God:  Why so much pain? Why the children? This song was born of such much pain.  Here is the response I received:

Joyce Meyer-Look at her ministry. She was sexually abused by her father.  She grew out of unimaginable pain.

Kenneth Hagin– Look at his ministry.  He was the modern-day father of faith. He was a teenager on his death bed.  His faith grew out of so much unimaginable physical pain.

Kenneth and Gloria Copeland– Look at their ministry.  They dared to believe God at His word and the grew out of the unimaginable pain of poverty.

Abraham-Look at Abraham. He was the father of faith.  He grew out of the unimaginable pain of being childless at 100 years old.  Abraham dare to believe God. He is the father of many nations.

Mike Burnette-Look at Mike (our pastor).  He grew out of the unimaginable pain of being fatherless. His family was asked to leave a church from a pulpit.   He dared to believe God and look what God is doing now.

Again, I asked.  WHY SO MUCH PAIN?  My answer was Satan meant it for pain. Satan meant it for destruction.  He comes to “steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) That is his plan.  However, I, I AM, the Lord, turned the pain for gain, for life abundantly.

The conversation between the Holy Spirit and I continued.  “Now, Tammy, I have a question for you.” I heard this in my spirit as loud as if Jesus had been sitting right beside me and asking.  The question:

“Has any one person ever endured more pain than Jesus? He was born to die an unimaginable death for you.”

My Bible says that his accusers, the religious of the day, spit in his face. They struck him with their fists. The slapped him with open hands. They tied him to a post and beat him unmercifully. The soldiers stripped him naked and dressed him up like a king and made so much fun of him. The crowned him with a crown of thorns. Come on, think how painful just a splinter is.  They spat in his face again. They took the reed and hit him in the head with the crown of thorn on.  When this group finished making fun of him, they ripped of the robe which had to be excruciating if the blood had begun to dry.  After parading him through the streets, the reached Golgotha and then they nailed him to the cross. They didn’t smooth out the wood of the cross, so all those splinters were poking into his open wounds, too.  However, then the most imaginable and painful thing happened to him.  Jesus took all our sins on Him.  He did nothing wrong, but he took all of this for me and for you.  Why would he take the unimaginable punishment that we deserved? Simply, he loves us.

Thank God he paid the painful price for us. He was tempted with every temptation we would ever encounter but chose to live sinless.  The best news is that he OVERCAME death and was resurrected.  His resurrection tells us, it’s paid, and you are free.

He endured the pain so that we may reign with Him.

All of God’s people that I mentioned above, died to their old selves and were resurrected to their new selves in Christ.  They got a second chance at the life God had always intended for them to live. They exchanged the unimaginable pain for an imaginable reign.  The chose to believe God. Enduring the pain is training for reigning.  If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. 2 Timothy 2:12

If you have experienced unimaginable pain, it is not God.  His plan for your life is better. Choose Jesus.  He died for me.  He died for you. He loves you and you are so very important to him. There is nothing that you have done that he will not forgive. He died for that very mistake.  He gave his life so that you could have life.  If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; Look, all things are new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

 

MY FRAPPING GOD

Heb-4_16-banner

Let us come boldly, be unreserved in speech, speak frankly without concealment be free, fearless, outspoken, frank, blunt, flow and pour forth to the throne of grace; that we may obtain, take, make our own, claim and receive what is given…mercy(kindness, compassion) and find grace(unmerited favor) to HELP in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Help is the Greek word: boētheia: to aid; a rope or chain for frapping a vessel.

To frap:

  1. (Nautical) To draw together; to bind with a view to secure and strengthen, as a vessel by passing cables around it; to tighten;

Wooden ships were frapped by wrapping a strong ropes (4-5″ diameter) or cables around the hull of the ship 4 or 5 times. During violent storms and high seas, frapping would secure the hull. Frapping would ultimately save a ship and keep it from falling to pieces!

When we come boldly to our Heavenly Father’s throne of grace, we find strong cords of mercy and grace that secure our tottering hull of a body in our time of need, temptation or trial. God’s mercy and grace are our frapping in the storms of life that help us reach the other side and keep us from falling to pieces!

frapp

 

FOCUS

It was raining cats and dogs. The thought darted across my mind to stay at home and not to volunteer at YAIPaks.   I replied to myself, “Not a chance! Stay Focused.” I got in my car and off I went. When I topped the hill to turn into YAIPaks, this sunset masterpiece greeted me from the heavens. Thank you Father. You are so faithful! 674397F0-5BA7-42AD-A951-322A279EED0E

I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8

How I found YAIPaks

November 2, 2017

Dear Sweet, Precious, Almighty, Heavenly Father:

 You never cease to amaze me! Your ways are unimaginable. You have so intricately woven our lives, our journey, our divine appointments. La, la, la…always living amazed.

 Tammy

 Sunday night, October 29, 2017, my B.A.S.I.L. (Best Anointed Sister In the Lord), Kristi, called to tell me about her women’s ministry at church in Maryville, TN.  They collected handbags and put essential toiletries in them for distribution to the homeless.  No sooner did she leave the doors of the church, did she encounter a homeless woman in the church parking lot.  She saw the woman’s car full of all her worldly possesions.  The homeless woman had left a small opening in the driver’s seat which functioned as her living room, dining room and bedroom.  Kristi was saddened that she could not get back in the church and give the lady one of the bags they had prepared.  She initially drove away,  but was soon so moved with compassion that she could only turn her car around to go encounter the homeless lady.  Kristi prepared a box of leftover bakery cookies for the woman.  She picked out the very best cookies, a good assortment.  She wanted the lady to have the best of the leftovers, no broken cookies.

It was important for her to give her best to her new friend.

Kristi returned to the dark and lonely parking lot in faith, no fear.  In the past she would have called me to pray with her or to be on the phone with her, during one of her “Holy Spirit stops.” Not today.  She confidently became the hands and feet of Jesus. She went and ministered to her new friend, Sharon.

Kristi’s story of compassion stirred my inner man as only the Holy Spirit can do.  As Sunday night progressed, I knew I was about to be in another Holy Spirit whirlwind.  “Buckle your seat belt. Here we go!” I could hear the Spirit saying.  I thought I will call Mayor Jim Durrett in the morning.  I was sure he would know where the major concentration of homeless were in Clarksville, Montgomery County.  I thought I could at least make PB &J’s and delver them.  If the mayor didn’t know where the homeless were, he could direct me.

I was stirred. I KNEW I HAD TO DO SOMETHING!   Be merciful, as your Father also is merciful. – Luke 6:36 KJV

On Monday morning, October 30, 2017, after an anointed prayer time with Kristi where the glory of the Lord showed up, I spent some additional time in His Word.  It was then off to the Monday race.  I checked my emails. It did not take me very long to discover an email from the APSU Women’s Club.  Who was speaking at our next meeting on Thursday, November 2. 2017?  Sherry Nicholson was speaking about a HOMELESS ministry and how we could become involved.  La, la, la…only my God.

I went to the meeting. I was blown away!  Sherry stood in front of us and spoke for one hour as a confident ambassador of Jesus.  She passionately shared her mission as founder of YAIPaks.  What an incredible testimony she delivered on how God wove her ministry  together.

Sherry shared how YAIPaks was born.  She became overcome with compassion for a woman she saw on the street. The woman was sitting on a bench trying to comb through her matted hair.  Sherry also noticed a small stuffed animal in the woman’s basket of possessions.  She knew it must be of great importance to her.  Sherry told the story of how she and her children had been homeless for one week while escaping domestic violence. Sherry had also carried with her a small stuffed animal which was the only thing that she had that connected her with her birth mother.   Sherry said she went home that night, retreated to her prayer closet and prayed all night.  The Holy Spirit led her to pack her abundance of handbags with anything that would have been beneficial to her during the time she was homeless.  Thus, the Holy Spirit birthed YAIPaks.

I love that the Holy Spirt told both groups of women to extravagantly love the homeless. NO JUNK!

After Sherry spoke that day, I questioned her about serve time.  She explained the schedule to me.  She quietly whispered to me as she walked out the door, “We are serving tonight!”  I went home thinking I could volunteer on Monday mornings and see where God directed me.  I called Kristi later on Thursday to tell her about YAIPAks.  She had already ministered to Sharon again in the church parking lot.  She had given Sharon the very best packed bag that she could find.  I cooked supper and was excited that Kris was coming home early.  However, I kept hearing Sherry’s voice, “We will be there tonight!”

I soon realized it was time to GO!  Compassion had to take action.  God had put this opportunity in my lap.  I showed up at the YAIPaks warehouse.  The bees were busy.  Tracy gave me a tour and I began sorting clothes.  They distribute clothes to the homeless, too.

In less than four days, 96 hours, God had orchestrated my next journey.  And…where do the YAIPaks Team go to church?  Lifepoint, our new church.  And what did Kris and I have planned on November 5, 2017? We were starting Growth-Track with the purpose of determining where we could serve at church.

IMG-5296

Love my new assignment!  Who loves sorting and folding clothes? I do.  The Holy Spirit led me to pray over the items as I fold and sort.   This isn’t a job for the Kingdom.  It is mission!  Some sweet homeless baby, toddler, child or adult will be stepping into the article of clothing.  The anointing doesn’t wear off.  I pray that compassion and love will forever change their lives. We are the hands and feet of Jesus on the earth now, His ambassadors.  Changing lives for His glory is our assignment. Go make a difference.

 Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:16-18 KJV

IMG-6626

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glorify God

The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isa 6:3 NKJV

The distinction between sacred and secular is a false dichotomy. All things were created by God and for God—no exceptions. Every note of music, every color on the palette, every flavor that tingles the taste buds. Arnold Sommerfeld, the German physicist and pianist, observed that a single hydrogen atom which emits one hundred frequencies, is more musical than a grand piano which emits only eighty-seven frequencies. So every single atom is a unique expression of worship. According to composer Leonard Bernstein, the best translation of Genesis 1:3 is not “And God said.” He believed a better translation is “And God sang.” The Almighty sang every atom into existence, and every atom echoes that original melody in three-part harmony by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Super-sensitive sound instruments have discovered that earthworms make faint staccato sounds, while whale songs can travel thousands of miles under water. Lewis Thomas put it this way: “If we had better hearing and could discern the descants of seabirds, the rhythmic timpani of schools of mullets, and even the distant harmonies of flies hanging over meadows in the sun, the combined sound might lift us off our feet.” And some day they will. Glorified eardrums will hear this Scripture fulfilled: “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’” (Rev 5:13 NIV). Today make it your goal to glorify God in all that you do.  – Jentezen Franklin (Online Daily Devotional)

BABY BOY

God is Love. Pure unadulterated love. He loves you and I unconditionally.
He is so forgiving. He is full of mercy, grace and kindness.

Could you give up your baby boy to save the world? I mean your only child! I have two boys and I can hardly entertain the idea.
Could you give up your baby boy to pay for every sin, sickness, disease, wrong choice?
Could you give up your baby boy who chose to live a perfect life to pay for the sins of those who didn’t make the same choice?  Would you allow your baby to take the fall for others who chose to lie, steal, kill and destroy?  Would you let him be the scapegoat?  Would you let bully’s badger your baby boy? God did…

You have heard it so many times. Has it lost its meaning to you?  Read it again. Think about your baby boy.  You think you love him more than God loved, loves and will always love his baby boy?  I don’t think so.
For God sooooooo loved the world, that he gave his only one of a kind Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

My love renovation/restoration began in 2000 and then another significant remodel beginning in 2010. I studied and learned that God really loved me and it didn’t matter what I had done because it was ALL ABOUT JESUS.  It was and is all about what He did for me.  It is all about the love. It took 17 years to say “I am complete in HIM.” It is only because God gave up His baby boy that  I can live life abundantly now.    I can live abundantly because I know how much God loved, loves and will always love me.  Knowing God’s love completes me!  I ask again, could you give up your baby boy?  (Revised from 2017 post)

PRAY

How excited are you when you receive a call from one of your kids?  Don’t you enjoy when the conversation lingers, and they share with you the details of their lives?  Doesn’t it just warm your heart?  How about when they call and ask for simple advice, help or instruction.  This mother loves to hear from her boys any time of the day or night. I usually stop what I am doing to immediately answer their call. (They would say: “Sure, if she even has her ringer on.”)

How satisfying is it to help your children?  What a blessing it is to be a blessing to them.  Don’t you enjoy when you are able to meet their needs or better yet, you have fulfilled one of their desires.  How much more does our Heavenly Father want to do this in our lives?  He says, “Pray without ceasing!” -1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Call Me all the time, anytime,” He says!

If the Georgia Bulldogs were your favorite football team and Coach Kirby Smart gave you his cell number with the instructions to call anytime, wouldn’t you call him?  What if President Trump gave you his cell?  “Call me,” he says.  How many times would you have called him in the past year?  How about Tim Cook, CEO of Apple or Lowell C. McAdam, CEO of Verizon, if you had their cell numbers, would you use it?  You better believe that I would use the numbers.

As a Christian, how often do access your direct line to the very throne of the Creator of the Universe?  Grab hold of the fact that the Greatest, the one and only Creator, God wants to hear from you.   You have an all access pass!  He knows everything.  He has all the answers.  He is always available.  You will never have to leave a message. You will not get a busy signal.  He will not ignore nor decline your call.  He will not respond with a text stating: Sorry I can’t talk right now nor with can I call you later.

 [But] verily God hath heard [me]; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed [be] God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me. – Psalm 66:19-20 KJV

Troubled?  Pray.  -James 5:13, Psalm 50:15, 86:7

Weary?  Pray. -Luke 18:1

Sick?  Pray.  -James 5:14,15

Worried?   Pray. -Philippians 4:6

Feel used?  Pray.  -Luke 6:28

Protection?  Pray.  -Psalm 18:3, 50:15

Temptation? Pray.  -Mathew 26:41, Mark 14:38

Salvation?  Pray.  -Psalm 18:3, Romans 10:13

Family member salvation?  -Pray.  Mathew 9:38, Luke 10:2

I hear you right now saying: “I don’t know how to pray. I will not do it correctly. I will not say the right thing.”

Your loving Father full of grace and mercy wants to hear from you.  Do your kids have to address you in a special manner? Do have to talk to your parents in a particular way?  No, is the answer.  God unconditionally loves you.  Nobody wants to hear from you more than God.  Call Him and often.  He is waiting for your call.  Do you know your prayers are so precious to God that he keeps them in golden vials, shallow bowls in heaven? (Revelation 5:8)

I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting holy hands, without wrath and doubting. – 1 Timothy 2:8 KJV

 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continually instant in prayer; – Romans 12:12

 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; – Ephesians 6:18 KJV

 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; – Colossians 4:2 KJV

 

WALK BY FAITH

For we walk by faith, not by sight: – 2 Corinthians 5:7

I read a devotional last year at this very same time.  2 Corinthians 5:7 was the focus verse.  The Holy Spirit took me on an intense three-day journey that shed light on what it means to “walk by faith.’   A year later, I can tell you that light is still being shed, almost daily, on what it means to walk by faith.

Here is what the Holy Spirit taught me by simply investigating  the Greek definitions of the words in the verse.

WE (We do it together. “We” includes God, Tammy and whoever I am walking with through the journey of life.  I used to think it was me against the world.  I thought I could do life and everything all by myself.  I need “we.”)

WALK (peripateo) make your way, progress, make due use of opportunities, be occupied, live, conduct one’s life, follow as a companion, tread all around

Peripateo is a compound of word of peri and pateo.

Further definition of peri:

We walk through, all over, about, concerning, all around, beyond, completely.

Further definition of pateo: We tread, tread under foot, trample, crush with feet, advance by setting foot upon foot upon foot and tread upon tread.  To encounter successfully the greatest perils from the machinations and persecutions with which Satan would happily try to thwart the preaching of the gospel; to treat with insult and contempt.

Pateo is probably from a derivative of paio: We strike, smite, to sting, to hit with a single blow.

So, we walk, crush it or hit “it” with a single blow, and encounter successfully Satan’s plans against us…

How?

BY (dia) preposition denoting the channel of act:  through time, through place, through means.

FAITH (pistis) belief, conviction that God exists and was, is, and will alwaybs be, creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of salvation through Christ who is the Messiah who was born of a virgin, died and rose again.

Simply, faith is believing that God is who He says He is and will do all that His Word says He will do.

NOT (ou) no, not, no never ever, we cannot, God forbid

BY SIGHT (eidos) external outward appearance, form, figure, shape, see, perceive.

What we perceive may not be the truth.  The Truth is God’s Word and what it says.

The world may perceive that you are in a dead in situation (body, life, work, marriage, children). The Word says in John 10:10 that “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy (my body, my life, my work, my marriage, my kids):  I (Jesus) am come that they might have life (body, work, marriage, kids) and they might have it more abundantly.  The word of God is always going to be in opposition to anything that the devil might feed to your thoughts.  The word devil by Greek definition is diablos which means prone to slander, false accuser, slanderous, liar.

God says: devil says:
Life Death
Whole Incomplete
Healed Sick & Diseased
Complete Lacking
Comfort Pain
Success Failure
Joy & Happiness Sadness & Sorrow
Blessed Cursed
Prosperity Poverty
Help Hinder
Truth Lie
Light Darkness
  1. You have a choice.  And, it is your choice!  Believe the devil and walk in fear or the best way, believe God.  Walk in faith and not by sight!  “Crush it, Girl!” is what this verse means to me.

I Got Paid to Go to the 2018 CFP National Championship, but…

I am from Athens, Georgia.  I am a-long time fan of the Dawgs and an alumna of the University of Georgia.  I have been going to Georgia football games since I was five years old.  Back in December, I was blessed by oldest son, Brayden, with 3 tickets to the 2017 South Eastern Conference Championship.  I took my very best friends from college, Pam Worsham and Bobbe Gillis.

IMG-5220

My ‘dawgs upset the Auburn Tigers and advanced to the College Football Playoff Semi-Final at the Rose Bowl.

When I returned home from that game on Monday night, I ate something and got food poisoning for the first time in my life.  It was horrible.  I was up all night.  I was very, very, sick.  To be honest, I was not in my right mind.  After being up all night and day, my husband called and asked if I wanted to go to the Rose Bowl.  An old friend who manages a travel agency had asked him prior to the SEC championship to help with a travel group that she would be taking to the Rose Bowl if Georgia won.  She had called to confirm and give Kris the travel details.   Kris’ flight and hotel accommodations would be taken care of.  He would also be generously compensated for his time.  She even offered me a great deal on a flight to Pasadena.  No brainer? Right?  It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see my Dawgs play in the Rose Bowl and to see the Rose Bowl parade. Let’s go!

The next morning, I was still feeling bad and out of my head.  I reconsidered my positive response.  We did not have tickets.  I understood the trip had been shortened from 5 days to 3 days.  I also understood that the hotel had changed from Santa Monica beach to Beverly Hills.  Hmm?  Kris was out-of-town on business.  I called him as he was getting in a cab to go to the airport to head home.  He was a little distracted.  Long story short, I thought he confirmed what I had understood.   Consequently, I told him to cancel my flight if he could.  Unfortunately, I later found out that I had misunderstood him and should have never cancelled my flight.

IMG-5222(1)

Later in the week, after Kris arrived in California, my oldest son called.  He informed us that he had us two tickets on the thirty yard line, Georgia side, for the Rose Bowl.  Needless to say, I didn’t get to attend.  I turned down a free room, a cheap flight and ultimately, tickets to one of the best football games ever.  I blame the food poisoning!

IMG-4994(1)Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

As soon as Georgia won the Rose Bowl in double over-time, I went online to search for tickets to the National Championship.  The upper level seats were going for about $2800 each and lower level tickets were at about $4000 a piece.  I resigned then that I probably would not be going to Atlanta.

It was one week until the National championship, all Georgia and Alabama fans were in a roar.  A Georgia friend texted and said she was looking for three tickets. This is what I texted her and her response:

IMG-5210The week between the Rose Bowl and the National Championship ticked away.  Friday, January 5, came and went.  I still did not have a ticket and the game was on Monday, January 8.  I reasoned that I would not be attending the National Championship.  The family went out to dinner to celebrate my mother in law’s birthday.  When we pulled into our garage about 8:30 pm, Kris received several texts. I had a messenger message and an email.  These messages were all from our travel agent friend.  She apologized for the late notice.  She asked Kris to drive to Birmingham.  She wanted him to host a bus full of Alabama fans on a day trip from Birmingham to Atlanta to the National Championship.  She would pay him mileage to and from Birmingham, provide him a room after the game and compensate him.  AND…there was room for me!  I was elated.  I thought in my head, “I am going to the CHAMPIONSHIP and it is not going to cost me a dime to get there.”  Kris immediately said that he could not do it.  I sunk. Wait!  I thought.  Can I do it?  I have hosted many people through the University of  Tennessee and Austin Peay.  Can I do it?  He made the proposal to our friend and she said, “Of course, BUT…”

It was a big “BUT!”

If I hosted and if I got a ticket, I would have to leave the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter no matter what!  I would have to be back at the bus to greet the Alabamians.

However, if I hosted and got a ticket, the host compensation would help pay for my ticket.  I also would have a ride essentially to the front door of Mercedes-Benz stadium.  My trip would be paid for.  I had a choice to make.  I had until Saturday morning to decide.

Decisions! Decisions. If I found a ticket and didn’t host the bus trip, I would have to pay for my ticket and my trip.  I would have had to find a place to park and then walked to and from the game alone.  One of my friends from college had her own miracle occur that allowed her entrance into the game.  She was asked at the last minute to chaperone a high school band that would participate in the pregame show.  I thought I could meet her once inside the game.  I thought we might could even ride together.  We could hang out.  I could stay for the whole game and trophy presentation.

This really should have been a no brainer.  However, Saturday morning came and I did not know what to do.  Leaving after the third quarter would be difficult.  I called my Mom and told her the story.  She asked me why I was even contemplating it.  She asked, “Don’t you see God in this?  You can record the game and watch the end at home.”  I came to the realization, “I am getting paid to go to the National Championship. I have a round trip ticket to the National Championship. Duh ?”   God was moving on my behalf.

After I talked to Kris, it was settled.  I WAS GOING TO THE ‘SHIP!  He laughed and said, “You did not know that you would have to go through hell (AL) to get there!”  I still did not have a ticket, but I figured if God could put this amazing adventure together, He could and would find me a ticket.

I posted this early Sunday morning before I went to church and left for Birmingham.

IMG-5211I breezed to Birmingham around 5 PM after a short shop at Cool Springs Galleria.  I enjoyed a gyro for dinner.  I happily checked into my hotel that was decorated in red(not crimson) and black.  I turned on a Hallmark movie and just chilled.  It wasn’t long after I settled into my room that I got a call from Kris:  “I think our “APSU/UGA/AL” friend has you a ticket.  He is confirming.  I believe it will be face value!’’

I was blown away.  Kris had been looking for a ticket for me all week, as well as Brayden.  Kris was not feeling well on Sunday, yet he was relentless in his efforts to find me a ticket.  He has a huge network and he worked it on my behalf.  I am grateful for my husband!  He gave me the contact information of my ticket broker.  Sunday night , I sent this text to our friend:

IMG-5062 1

Monday morning, I awoke to this text from Kris:IMG-5212

At 12:00 PM on Monday, January 8, I left Birmingham with fifty of my new ‘Bama friends on a charter bus headed to Atlanta for the National Championship and I had a ticket waiting on me at will call.  My heavenly Father moved on my behalf.  By the grace, unmerited, undeserved favor, of my God, I attended the 2018 CFP National   Championship.

The first person I saw at the stadium that I knew was my favorite Redcoat, Mandy Gillis, Bobbe’s daughter.IMG-5085

I watched Bobbe be a back-up singer for President Donald Trump while holding the corner of the huge American flag in the pregame show.  (She is standing on the bottom right side 25 yard line.)IMG-5116

After pregame, there just “happened” to be one seat open beside me.  Bob joined me.  We missed our friend Pam, but we cheered on the ‘dawgs.IMG-5149

We watched them lead ‘Bama almost the whole game.  When I left late in the third quarter, the Tide had just scored with a new freshman quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.  However, we came right back and scored.  When I sadly left the game, I believed that the University of Georgia Bulldogs would be the 2018 National Champs.  I thought it would be a long ride home for my ‘Bama friends.  After a fourth quarter comeback and an overtime win by Alabama that I still have not watched, my ‘dawgs were not able to bring home the trophy.

The best news at the end of the game was that the ‘Bama freshman quarterback who won the game for the Tide gave God all the glory!  He stated that all things are possible through Christ.  Both of our journeys to the National Championship game were courtesy of our heavenly Father.  After all, it was just a game, right? Ha. Ha. Ha.  It was the National Championship and Tua chose to give God the glory for the win before millions.  I choose to give Him the glory for all He is and has done, but today for planning my trip.  It was all Him moving behind the scenes on my behalf.  Thank you, Father! You are amazing!