Just a dash of Mrs.Dash....

>> April 26, 2012

Good day ladies! Do you have a friend who's demeaner is so quite yet when she speaks she captures your listening ear? I have such a friend, she is one of a kind and the last time we were together was at our youngest daughters wedding 6 years ago. If I may I would like to take you back 33 years ago, to a small town in southern Texas. I was a young newlywed then in desperate need of a friend. Kelly lived in the apartment above us, we met on the playground, she had two small children. I would watch her from our living room window and was amazed at her ability to be so calm with those scrapped knees or the inciped hair caught in swing chains.  We met and because of this family's walk of faith, Steve and I came to know Christ as our Lord and Savior.  

We are forever thankful for their witness and love toward this young married and so wet behind the ears couple. Yet the one thing I admired most was Kelly's ability to stay calm in every situation. I was raised in a loud house, so this struck a cord with me. I wondered when God was going to give me this ability. I mean, certainly this comes from God right?  This really resenated with me after the birth of our first daughter. We were faithful in worship, reading our Bible together, praying and in the beginnings of raising our child in the nurture and admonishion of the Lord. So surely God was going to give me this blessing. I wanted to be just like Kelly. I wanted my home to be a place of peace, a place of rest. So I boldly asked her one day, yep I walked right into the answer I never expected to get.  

Kelly speaks with a soft voice, she never runs around with her head in a whrill, she was always so calm when her five and three year old would be fussing or sick. I knew this had to be a trait and the  "how to" had to be found in the Bible. Kelly poured me a cup of coffee and gave her response.  "Debi, God made you who you are, he wanted you to be exactally you, because you have a purpose to fulfill. He made me to be me, and I hope I am fulfilling that purpose. I love the way you always seem to get right in the middle of a Bible study, you are not afraid to ask questions or share a part of your life with us. Please don't compare us because I have my own traits God is showing me how to deal with."  Kelly never gave me Bible veses  to look up, she gave me wisdom.   

Then about six years ago I found the verse she was talking about, at least these veses took me back to southern Texas and so I took out my trusted blue post it note and wrote her name by the verses.  

Look up Colossians 4:5-6 "Walk in wisdom toward outsiders making the most of the time. Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer each person."  That was my Kelly to a T! My oldest friend in Christ was exactally this verse.  But when I read it again God showed me that I too was this verse, being real honest I was just a part of this verse.  Wisdom I know comes from asking and I have asked many times in many situations. You have too I am sure.  Making the most of my time is not talking about time management but our witness to those who are unbelievers or those like I was, a new Christian. Making the most is investing in anothers life, just like Kelly did.  It's not hard being gracious when your heart is already there. Thankfulness for a kind act is never hard but graciousness needs to be the covering over everything we encounter. I am still working on this one, maybe that was what Kelly was talking about, we continue to work out this walk as believers, letting God mold us into His perfect will along the way. Seasoned with salt was my downfall, I had a hard time finding my salt shaker many a days. The amount of  salt Kelly shook over me that day was perfect. 

Who do you need to season today? Or do you need seasoned, we all do at times. I am such a visual person so I will leave you with this tidbit. A good t-bone steak is my favorite dish, only eating them on special occasions but it has to be seasoned with the right amount of salt to grill to perfection. Do not over salt the person God want's you to season. Kelly knew not to give me to much as I was a new believer, I am now seasoning a new believer so these verses has helped me to remember my experience, make the most of my time with her and season with the right amount of salt. So go out there and use your own version of Mrs.Dash on one another.    Joy...Debi

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Our pearls of promise...

>> April 10, 2012

      I have had this story in my heart for a few weeks now but just started praying over a scripture passage that would go along with it, but as I begin to type I am wondering if God really wants me to have a scripture follow-up. Sometimes things happen and God can use the situation to encourage us along this journey as staff wives. So as you read the following true story maybe you  have the perfect scripture to go along with me today, if you do please share with us here on clutchtalk.

     I teach first graders at church. It is a real fun age full of exploring and learning so many things. Of course my least favorite time is the first of the year. These brand new first graders are just learning how to read paragraphs let alone find a Bible passage or understand a Bible thought. Nonetheless I love them all, ornery boys who talk a lot and quiet little girls, funny how that changes in just a few short years. Well this past year was no different. I have more boys than girls this year and they range from all boy and sports to the shy type and one boy who is very artistic. I know that if an art project is on the docket for the week I had better plan to schedule it at the end of our time together because he is very detailed (shading and everything) and  I will not have time to cover other items of the lesson.

      One of my sweet girls (I will call her Jennah) is so quiet I  barely recognize her  speaking at all. Nothing out of the norm but wait a minute, wait, give it a minute, she comes dressed in pearls! All year long she is dressed to the nines, all year long I have noticed her  quiet demeanor and her chosen dress code. Finally I decided to ask momma about the pearls. Understand that Jeannah's family is just a normal young family, kinda the All-American family portrait. These parents are doing things the right way with their children and the Biblical world view they are impressing on them.  Jennah's mom said that she got the fake pearls for Christmas  and desires to wear them every Sunday.  Plain and simple she desires to wear them.

     Of course dressing to the nines is just a dramatical phrase used to emphasize a point but Jennah does wear her sparkle shoes and something to adorn her hair. Her attitude of desire struck a cord in my heart making me ask the question "Is my desire to wear Christ as strong as Jennah's desire to wear her pearls?" She puts on her best every Sunday for church. She takes the time to put on her pearls. This body is just a shell so what happens on the inside is what really counts. Clothes do not make a person, attitude does. Jennah showed me without speaking what was important to her little heart. Do I, do we show others what is important by our desires.  Attitude is everything and we must keep an updated fresh attitude that reflects God even on our worst days.  Lately I have been dealing with a lot of issues in my mothers care and have noticed how sin tries to creep in to steal, kill and destroy. I am thinking that I need to put on my pearls of promise everyday, it needs to be my hearts desire just like Jennah.

     I can't wait to read your verse responses, please share this plain and simple story as a witness of encouragement and joy to others you meet.



© CLUTCH, 2009-2011 unless otherwise sourced.
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Time with You Is The Best.....

>> April 3, 2012

      This week is all about Easter. Palm Sunday prepares us for Good Friday, which prepares us for Ressurection Sunday.  Holidays are a wonderful time to give of ourselves, spend time with family and with friends, and frantically prepare meal menus that would be fit for a king, or just in case The Food Network should  stroll through our dinning room. I love everything about Thanksgiving and Christmas but my favorite holiday of all is Easter. It's fun to come up with different ideas for children's Easter baskets. I love finding dresses that match all four of our grandaughters, of course this year we have a grandson to add to the group, so cars are included. Pintrest is now my timesaver for beautiful craft ideas that make the Easter week special.

     As I grow older, the week before Easter Sunday means more to me as a believer.  Today, as I was reading Luke Chapter 23, I noticed some interesting highlights. Jesus willingly walking to the place called The Skull, jeers from the two prisoners, a promise of paradise, darkness for three hours, the centurian who recognized who Jesus really was, and weeping of all who witnessed His death. Having played Mary the mother of Jesus and a bystander in the crowd shouting "give us Barabbas" in church programs, I had to put myself in Mary's sandals and weep as they took my Jesus off the cross. It was not hard to do, you get caught in the emotions of the scene. During weeks of practice I did act the part, but when opening night hit I wept like this was my son. Good Friday is real, praise God ressurection Sunday is real. I encourage you to help others know that this week is real and played out in our everyday lives.

     I have a Bible marker our oldest granddaughter gave me for Christmas. I helped her the week before Christmas make everyone a book marker.  KK made sure each person's marker was personalized. We covered them in clear contact paper and wrapped them up with a bow. I knew she had done one for me as well, but never imagined how personal she was with it.  When I opened it, I cried like a baby. I want you to know that this was only the second time in my life that I got emotional over a gift. 

     Every time I open my Bible, I see those words and my heart stops. She displayed what she enjoys about me in six words. Then I ask myself, "Debi, is your time with God the best?" Easter is a mere holiday to so many, but to believers it should be THE BEST!  God doesn't care if the pastel tablecloth is wrinkle free or your water glasses are spot free. He wants our time with Him to be free; the best!  I am so guilty of having the napkins in place, the baskets having the right amount of candy and fun stuff, the dresses matching, and of course the ham coming out of the oven right on time to join the mashed potatoes. Geesh. God really doesn't care about that. He wants time with us.

     So I encourage you this week to enjoy time with God.  Make sure you can say, "Time with you God is the best." Happy Ressurection Easter Sunday to you and your family. 

Joy for life!
Debi Ogle


© CLUTCH, 2009-2011 unless otherwise sourced.
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meet debi ogle

>> February 14, 2012

John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be made full.” (Holman NAS)

My name is Debi Ogle. I live in Delaware, a small community just outside of Columbus, Ohio. I like to describe it as a “Gilmore Girls” kind of town. It is full of quaint shops and the best ever yogurt ice cream. My husband loves to surprise me with dessert dates as we sit outside and watch the townspeople go about their business.

First of all, I am a Christ-follower and after 34 years of following, I thank God for never giving up on me. I've been married for 35 years and have helped raise two adorable, Christian daughters and have the blessing of being called DeeDee (it’s my grandma nickname) five times over. They range in ages from 10 yrs to 8 months. Our last two grands came by way of adoption: a granddaughter (4.5 yrs old) from Ethiopia and our first grandson (8 mos. old) from the States.

My job first and foremost is as a wife to my integrity-driven husband, Steve. We started our journey in the Navy but eventually we both felt that Steve was to do ministry work, not necessarily from the pulpit but some form of ministry. Our pastor gave us sound advice, “God never calls one, but He will always call the couple” and since we were both feeling the tug, we went thru the open door.

We got out of the military, and he started a bachelors degree at Ohio State University. Since Steve got his degree in elementary education, we found a new field at the seminary: Childhood Education Ministry. Our first church was Mimosa Lane Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas. Then we moved to Little Rock, Arkansas. After 6 years we were called to Mobile, Alabama.

In 1998 Steve received a phone call that started the next chapter of our lives….moving to Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Here we walked our oldest down the aisle in 2000, and sent them off to Southwestern Theological Seminary in TexasWe sent our youngest daughter to the same seminary in 2004. (Both our daughters married ministers.) We loved our life in southern Mississippi and never thought we would leave.

In the fall of 2004, my husband told me he felt God was leading him to leave the ministry. My first reaction was why? He never reacts without a prayerful thought process and when he said he'd been struggling with this for two years, I knew I must follow. I gave up my job as a college bookstore manager, my perfectly built house, a great church and many friends to follow my husband. The overriding factor in all of this was I knew he had carefully prayed and struggled over this for two years. So my reaction was “Where do we go?”

We left Mississippi on April 1st, 2005 to Nashville! We were naive to think that the business world would hire a man in his late 40’s with 2.5 degrees under his belt. But part of this move was for him to write, and write he did. He wrote a parenting book, a 365-day devotional for children, a children’s series, and the start of a men’s book. Steve got a job at Chick-fil-a, so we moved into a tiny 1-bedroom apartment. Coming from a spacious, custom-built home into a tiny roach-infested apartment was not what either of us bargained for but we were sure of God's calling to leave our comfortable lifestyle behind.

One night we went to a McDonalds just to talk. I finally spoke my piece about the situation. I told Steve "I'll follow you to Timbuktu and back if that is what God designs, but I cannot see you out of full-time ministry." We realized that what Steve had really needed was a sabbatical, a rest from ministering. By this time he had served almost 20 years without a break. Soon Steve got a children’s/administrator position at a starter church, I got hired on at Life Way Christian Resources, and we walked another daughter down the aisle.

Then my health got so bad I needed to quit work. In 2007 we moved to southern Georgia. This stint was the hardest to overcome. After months of being accused loudly in the hallways and talked about in deacon meetings, we started searching again for a place to serve. We had NEVER given up before. We felt like complete failures. But sometimes even if God gives clear direction, people can deceive us and throw a huge stone into the driving force of ministry.

In August, 2008 we moved to Columbus, Ohio. In just one year we lived in three different states. WOW! Never did this before, God. We love it here. Our church is on a mission for community.

Every church where we have served has had its ups and downs. There has been the learning church of Texas, thechurch of grounding in Arkansas, the desert in Alabama, the oasis in Mississippi, the refreshing of Tennessee, the darkness of Georgia and the vision of Ohio.

Through them all we have become better people, blessed to have so many friends and opportunities, and most of all a chance to serve alongside awesome believers. For this, I would not change anything. This is why my motto is JOY! (Jesus first, yourself last and others in-between)

Jesus has certainly made my joy complete! The neat thing is He continues to complete me until the day I meet Him face to face…now that is JOY.

~Debi Ogle

© CLUTCH, 2009-2011 unless otherwise sourced.
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homeless. hungry. please help.

>> February 7, 2012

They’re at certain intersections. Some of them even start to look familiar.
"Anything Appreciated"
"Please Help"

If you’re like me, your mind struggles between thinking, ‘I wonder how much they rake in this way?’ to ‘What if this person is here in true need, waiting on me to be a real Christian?” Or we may wonder how they come to stand there, without much thought to pride, an advertisement to their desperation.

In many ways, we as Christians should be able to identify with the homeless. Whether we like it or not…we’re all the same.

Scripture continuously reminds us that this world is not our home. Hebrews 13:14 “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” And Hebrews 11:16 “But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

We have sung it since we were young, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue…” Let our behavior dictate that this world had no hold on us, our treasure is banked someplace else, our eyes fixed on a heavenly destination.

Each soul has that hunger and thirst that only a relationship with Christ can fill. Psalm 63:1: “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.” It has been described as “the hunger of the man who is starving for food, and the thirst of the man who will die unless he drinks." What an expression of the kind of desire we should have to obtain righteousness!

Psalm 42:1-2: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God!” Psalm 63:1: “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.”

Please Help
Who reading this doesn’t desperately need divine help? Maybe with a decision you have to make, maybe with your relationships or job, maybe with bad habits or massive struggles. Maybe you need His help just to make it through the day!

No matter how self sufficient we like to feel, how much we think we’ve got it all figured out… We ALL need help to resist temptation and to live a godly life. Doing the right thing doesn’t always come easy. Paul exclaimed in Romans 7:18 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.” God’s power is available to us. We must simply ask. He’s there for you, no matter how big or small your need.

He doesn’t judge how many times you’ve asked, or what your sign says. He offers, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

So here I am Lord, with my sign “Homeless, Hungry, Please Help.”

© CLUTCH, 2009-2011 unless otherwise sourced.
Use allowed by express written permission only.
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