the words of my mouth

>> January 31, 2012

Psalms 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be acceptable in thine sight oh Lord, my strength and my redeemer."

As a Pastor's Wife you are in a key leadership role. In that leadership role, comes great responsibility as you embrace your place.

The words you speak can cause directional change in people's walks with the Lord. Many times we don't realize that because we are not the ones behind the pulpit. However, your words matter. The meditation of your heart matters.

I invite you for the month of February to train your heart. Train your heart to respond vs. react. Train your heart that mercy trumps judgement and love never fails. Train your heart to believe over doubt and train your mouth to speak the Word of God over every situation.





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cat's pix::PW life

>> January 30, 2012

How do I make time to get ready for church? The bouncy seat. :)
#lifesaver

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friday::FITNESS

>> January 27, 2012

Tips for Dining Out



Fre­quent eat­ing out isn’t healthy for any­one. Not only will it expand your waist­line, but it’s sure to lean out your wal­let. It may seem like $7 here and $12 there, but it adds up. I rec­om­mend lim­it­ing eat­ing out to 1–2 times per week. (If you take me up on this rec­om­men­da­tion, DON’T freak out at your first gro­cery bill. Wait until the end of the month, and you’ll be shocked how much money you saved.)



How­ever, I’ll be the first to admit cook­ing every meal at home is unre­al­is­tic. Not only does life hap­pen and we get pushed for time, but with ministry, we all have people in our lives. Birth­days, hol­i­days, and meet-ups at restau­rants are unavoid­able.



When you do treat your­self to din­ing out, here are some guide­lines to help you stay on track with your health & fitness.



Eat your calo­ries — don’t drink them! Water is the best option, but you can also opt for unsweet­ened tea. If you have to sweeten it, carry some ste­via with you, as many arti­fi­cial sweet­en­ers can be just as bad for you as reg­u­lar sugar.



Scan the menu for key words. Aim to order dishes that con­tain words like grilled, steamed, broiled, or broth. Avoid menu items that con­tain words like fried or creamy.



Skip the appetizer.…at least as an actual appe­tizer. The extra 10–15 min­utes to wait won’t kill you, and this will help elim­i­nate eat­ing excess calo­ries. How­ever, if there’s a healthy choice as an appe­tizer, it could make a great choice as your entree. Appe­tizer serv­ing sizes gen­er­ally aren’t as large, and prices are usu­ally more rea­son­able as well.



Don’t assume every salad is healthy. A fried chicken salad with ranch dress­ing, cheese, bacon and crou­tons can have more calo­ries than a Big Mac, large fries and large Coke. If you do order a salad, fill it with veg­gies and lean pro­tein like grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp. Also, ask for vinai­grette dress­ing on the side, dip­ping each bite as you go.



Side items count. Just because you were good and ordered grilled chicken, don’t ruin it with french fries and mac and cheese on the side. Even if not on the menu, most restau­rants will usu­ally bring you a side of fruit or steamed veg­gies if you ask. (Remem­ber — you are the pay­ing cus­tomer. Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions!)



Ask ques­tions. I’m always sur­prised how “healthy” menu items come as pre­pared in the kitchen, such as steamed veg­gies that are served drown­ing in but­ter. Ask your waiter before­hand how what you’re order­ing is pre­pared and make adjust­ments to suit your health needs. (Don’t be afraid to send it back if it’s not cor­rect. Always be polite, but there’s noth­ing wrong with get­ting exactly what you ordered.)



Avoid the bread bas­ket. Most restau­rants serve but­tered white bread, which is full of fat and sim­ple carbs…empty calo­ries, which will not make you feel full, caus­ing you to overeat.



Eat half. If you’re din­ing with a health-conscious friend, find an entree you can split. If you can’t agree on any­thing, when the waiter comes back with your order, ask for a doggy bag. Put half of your meal away, and eat the other half. If you ordered wisely, it’ll be a fine lunch for tomorrow.



Have a bite of dessert. That’s right — a bite! Buy a dessert for every­one at the table to share. That way, every­one gets a taste of some­thing sweet, but no one pigs out.



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the pastor's children

>> January 24, 2012

My two boys LOVE to preach. They follow daddy’s moves, his walk, they wear suits like daddy does, they watch his preaching videos over and over and over, did I say OVER. I think I have some of his sermon’s memorized myself. My boys will put daddy’s cologne on, set out as many stuff animals as they own (as their members) take out a music stand (pulpit) and start preaching away in the game room. This is their fun.



This past weekend, Bishop Holcomb, our Father in the Faith, kicked off our annual Leaders that Lead Conference. Now I must say Bishop & Pastor Val are not only our Pastors/Spiritual Parents but www.chop.org is where we served before we founded Breath of Life. While it’s not the only ministry we’ve served, it IS the only place outside of our own church the boys know. Our extended family there has seen the boys grow over the years. Our boys are very familiar with the place, people and protocol. This particular Sunday, it was Matthew’s first time on the East Wing. You see the West wing has birth to 4yrs old, the “other-side” is for the “big kids”. Well Matthew is now 5 and on the East Wing. So he wasn’t sure what to expect at Heritage Kingdom. Marcus on the other hand, knew the registration drill, order of service, exit/pick up procedures etc. Marcus asked that morning if he could go to “big church” because he missed Papa Bishop and wanted to hear him preach. The mommy side of me wanted to bring him so bad; because there is nothing like hearing Bishop in person. However, my spirit kept saying no.



For two weeks prior to us going, the Holy Spirit would prompt me to send Marcus to Children’s Church at CHOP on that particular Sunday. I’m so glad I followed the prompting of the Spirit, because by divine orchestration INSPIRATION and IMPARTATION occurred. It was priceless!



Imagine a room, more like a large cafeteria size with 300+ kiddos ready for children’s church. They did praise and worship and up next, instead of a Children’s Minister delivering the word that morning, a 9 year old brought the Word forth. Yes, a 9 year old, NINE year old, after 8 before 10. Marcus couldn't quit talking about it ALL day. He said mom, a kid preached. I said a real kid, or a teenager? He said no a kid he was 9 and just a little bit taller than me. Mom that is exactly what I dream of doing. I dream of preaching. I dream of preaching to the world. I want to save lives. (He just turned 7, yes we know Jesus saves – disclaimer) Marcus was INSPIRED! He said I have never met a kid like ME who loves to preach! It couldn't have been better planned, it was divine orchestration from the Holy Spirit. Now I know, not every PK will enter ministry. But I am keen enough to be aware, recognize and identify the call of God on my baby. What blessed me the most was all the idea’s that started spinning out as he told me about his dreams for ministry.




Inspiration: a divine influence or action on a person believe to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation. Without going into details of our moment that day, I want to ask what inspires your children? We took pictures behind the children’s church pulpit I wanted to share with you. I don't ever want to be guilty of down playing the work of the ministry because it's become familiar and not cultivate the gifts God has placed in our children. I don't want to be guilty of choking the seed we strive so hard to plant in our children. I found out what 9 year old preached and turns out we know his parents well. So, we will have them over for dinner next month.




Maybe your princess has a gift to sing. Or Johnny boy is creative and mercy motivated. Pastor Val preached about leadership keys during one of our morning sessions. She challenged us as Pastors to be sure to recognize and cultivate the gifts inside our own little ones as well. This weekend turned out rather perfect. To God be the glory!

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pastors' wives conference

>> January 23, 2012

Pastors' Wives Conference. Free. Virtual. What more can you ask for?

Let me give you the details!

Our friends over at Leading and Loving It, are having a free, virtual (meaning you can watch from home, no travel, don't have to get your nails & hair done, you don't even have to wear make up while watching) type conference. With top of the line speakers from across the country.

It's called JustONE! I've listed this weeks line up for you. The bible teaches us that iron sharpens iron, so I invite you and encourage you to tune in. This will be ongoing for four weeks, you can check their site for additional details and be sure to put it on your calendar.


Week 1: Monday, January 23rd and Tuesday, January 24th
11am EST/ 8am PST and 9pm EST/ 6pm PST both days

“Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.”
Speaker 1: Kay Warren, Senior Pastor’s Wife and Founder of the HIV & AIDS Initiative at Saddleback Church
Speaker 2: Jenni Catron, Executive Director at Cross Point Church
Speaker 3: Michelle Meeks, Senior Pastor’s Wife at Eastlake Community Church
Speaker 4: Jessica Cornelius, Senior Pastor’s Wife and Director or EmpowHER and Missions at Bay Area Fellowship
Speaker 5: Heather Palacios, Executive Pastor’s Wife at Church by the Glades



We love you so much and are praying for your success! I'm confident this conference will be a blessing to you!


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cat's pix::PW life

Stylin', all ready for church.

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friday::FINANCE

>> January 19, 2012

Money. The lack of money can be stressful! I am talking about heavy weights, feeling like you are going to suffocate; stressful.

People don't like to talk about the rough times, the "going through" of when money is tight. All because it is a hard place.

I would like to remind you today that your troubles will not last always. That God made honey come out of a rock. (meaning a hard place)

We all know that we need to follow budget.
We all know that we need more coming in then going out.

But I want you to know that today, as we head into the weekend that we are praying for you! We are praying for you, your family and your church!

God is a BIG God. God is more than ABLE!

People do not like to talk about money, it makes some uncomfortable.

I'm completely comfortable. I know the difference between the gospel (the life, the death, the burial and the resurrection) vs. the counsel of God.

When you get emails from Pastors' Wives that they are struggling and their family eats Oatmeal for breakfast and dinner, with Hot Dogs and Spagetti as a luxury you don't mind so much talking about money; praying for financial breakthrough and prosperity.

We are blessed to be a blessing. So if you are in a rough season, we are praying for you this weekend! I know that God can turn ANY situation around.

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Guest Post:: Amy Argo high heels, confidence and Jesus

>> January 17, 2012

Amy Argo is the wife of a staff Pastor in Alabama. She wrote a fantastic blog post I wanted to share with you. You can connect with Amy on FB or check out her blog.


I am such a girlie girl when it comes to shoes. I LOVE them. If I had unlimited funding, I would have a closet the size of Rhode Island filled with them.

Lately, I have been wearing a lot of flats. They are comfortable. I have said on many occasions "if I have comfortable shoes (and pockets) I can conquer the world."
Today, I had an interview for a job much closer to home so I decided to wear heels. And as I walked from the parking deck this morning, I contemplated why I did this. Hey, God talks to me in unique ways. I don't question it. I just listen.

Do you notice that when you are wearing high heels you walk differently? You are more conscious of the way you walk. At least I am. I am not what you call graceful. That was a bit of an understatement. I tend to be klutzy, that is more accurate. So while in theory, I love high heels, I tend to shy away from them for the fear of falling on my face. Going back to my long walk in from the parking deck this morning, I noticed that when I walk in high heels that I am more aware of how I walk, I tend to stand up straighter, to be perfectly honest while they make me nervous on one hand, they actually make me feel more confident at the same time.

I think walking with God is a lot like walking in high heels.
High heels take me out of my comfort zone.
High heels make me focus more on my walk.
High heels give me added height and confidence.
High heels tend to make me walk slower and with more purpose.

High heels are good for my walk, even though there is a hint of fear in wearing them. I don't fear the shoes themselves....I love them. It's me, walking in the shoes I fear. Will I make them look bad? Will I fall and scuff horribly? Will I completely embarrass myself and want to hide?

Ever taken a leap of faith? Feels a lot like that.

I started listening to the audio book of Steven Furtick, Sun Stand Still in my car this morning during the long commute. He talks about "audacious faith." I don't think it was a coincidence that I began listening to this and wore high heels for the first time in a long time today. I think they go together. At least in my mind they do.

God is calling me out. I am excited, but I have that hint of fear that I will fall on my face. But I am not worried....Faith makes me more aware of my walk, stand taller, and more confidently. Causing me to rely on Him to carry me.




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cat's pix::PW life

>> January 16, 2012

The only thing MORE important for survival is my Bible!
#devotions

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friday::FASHION

>> January 13, 2012



let your lips do the talking.

I'm so happy that bold colored lipsticks are on trend this fall because it's such an easy, chic way to incorporate color into a wardrobe. Wear it with neutrals or wear it with other saturated colors, just make sure the color compliments your skin tone.

From left to right Wearing: Revlon's "Siren", MAC's "Myth", and Boots Botanics' "Rose"
Keep it classy by toning down your bronzer/blush. Also, try just mascara and maybe some highlighter in the inner corner of your eye and under your brow bone. A clean face will keep the lips from looking drag if you know what I mean!

Too timid to paint your lips red? Try a nude or pale pink lip with more dramatic eyes. This is more of my everyday look because dark lipstick tends to be a little more high maintenance on me.

If au natural is more your thang, consider spicing things up with a tinted lipgloss. Just wear something on those smoochies!

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2012: don't give up

>> January 12, 2012

The beginning of the year holds so many new beginnings and fresh starts for many. And for others, there is a strong hold trying to remind you of the past, attempting to persuade you to forfeit your future. Last years failures may be true, may still hurt and sting, but everyday they are a memory which will soon fade and not an indication of the promises of God for this year.

I want to tell you today that every storm has an end. Don't cast away your confidence. The trials and tragedies you have experienced are trying to push you back and I'm here to declare God is faithful and with your hand in His, you can make it!

If you feel abandoned and betrayed by God, hold on, because God is faithful and His Word is true.

You may be telling God, "What were you thinking when you chose me?" "I can't take this anymore.", "I'd rather die then live like this.", "I can't go on with this situation."

Today TD Jakes tweeted "When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot, help is on the way."

Sister, Friend.... Don't give up!

God has called you to impact, influence and inspire. You have an assignment from on high to complete and I declare over your life victory in Jesus' name! Victory over every mountain of finances, marital distress, family dysfunction, unclarity. God will restore and what He doesn't restore, He will replace.

So hold your high, keep standing, keep believing, keep praying. I am believing for divine set up on your behalf. I am believing for supernatural breakthrough and miraculous favor. God is able. God is faithful!


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2012:: maximize

>> January 11, 2012

When I was dating my husband and for the first few years of our marriage, there was a wonderful couple from a nearby town that served in ministry for most of their married life. They would drive into the city and attend Sunday night service every Sunday with the exception of him going out of town to minister. We were very young, 19 & 20 when we married. They were in their mid 70’s if not older. My husband could listen to this Man of God for hours on end. His wonderful wife was a spunky gal. She was moving and grooving even in her 70’s with quite a bit of whit and style. We were fortunate that they took the time to invest into a young ministry couple and two weekends out of the month, they’d give us their time. We’d usually go out to eat and talk and talk and talk or I should say they’d speak, we’d listen.



She shared many things with me, but I recall one thing in particular I wanted to share with you “Marrying a preacher is like living in Sunday School 24hrs a day.” In the beginning, I was like “okay….” whatever you say; 13 years later I get it.



What she meant and what I want you to understand is that being married to a preacher, weather he’s the Sr. Pastor, Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor, whatever; bible is going to fall out of his mouth like water comes out of a faucet. And if it’s not bible, it’s closely related, can always be tied back to the word, etc. That is a good thing. I personally enjoy having my husband as a human reference for the Word. Who needs google or Biblesearch? I can just text Mark.



Other Pastor’s Wives’ might not feel the same way. I have discovered that some wives get rather frustrated. They respond or I should say react with a deep sigh, and a look in their eyes that speaks “not again.” YES, AGAIN sweet darling. It’s who they are. I have yet to see anything other than water come out of a faucet.



I invite you to see, what are you going to do with it this year? The bible says we are his help mate right? So, instead of absorbing it all, instead of getting frustrated with it. Do something with it. That may mean a blog for some, devotionals for others, a book or possibly helping collect his thoughts, sort and organize them into conference material. There is a million things you can do with the wealth of knowledge one has. Maximize it!





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2012::live on purpose

>> January 10, 2012

Since 2008, CLUTCH has been about Living Life ON Purpose. As we welcome in the first month of this new year I want to bring our attention to the call, to Live Life ON purpose.

As many of us have experienced, at one time or another, it's easy to lose focus of our purpose and God ordained identities and unintentionally turn OFF purpose. Meaning, like a light switch. As women it is natural to put others first being we are caretakers; however, that does not mean we are to turn OFF purpose for our own individual lives.

Some of you write.
Some of you sing.
Some of you are amazing organizers.
Some of you are gifted in administration.
Some of you are mercy motivated.

Whatever your gift is, are you operating in it? When you surround yourself with people who let you be yourself, you are in for a win. Here at CLUTCH you can be yourself. He is the potter, we are the clay, together we are a collection of designer pieces.

As Pastors' Wives and Women in Ministry, you were designed to flourish in your position. When little things get out of place, our functionality as a whole can be diminished. I challenge you and invite you simultaneously to Live 2012 ON purpose.

For some, that is easy, because they are already operating in their gifts and need to make a few tweaks here and there, work on connections and keep pressing on full steam ahead. For others, Living Life ON purpose, might be a little more complicated. Where-ever you at at today, do it! Decide you are going to run your race, for your life. You have grace for your race as you embrace your place.

My personal mantra for women in general is for them to impact, influence and inspire the world around them. Purpose that you will do that on a new level this year. YOUR BEST IS YET TO COME!


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cat's pix::PW life

>> January 9, 2012

Gotta make time for your girlfriends!
#goodonesarehardtofind

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friday::FITNESS

>> January 6, 2012

Consistency Counts

Fitness. It's on everyone's brain. I mean, it's January - the most popular month for exercise thanks to New Years resolutions. But what if there were some tips that would help us not fizzle out on our goals by February? Thankfully, there are.



It's so impor­tant to find a work­out that you enjoy. If you played sports in high school and miss those days of con­di­tion­ing, a boot­camp style work­out may be a good fit for you. If music moti­vates you, maybe jog­ging, walk­ing, or run­ning out­side with you iPod is bet­ter. If you pre­fer weights, you can con­cen­trate on strength train­ing. If you used to cheer or dance, there are dozens of dance work­outs avail­able. Activ­i­ties you dread are easy to dis­miss, but you will always be more con­sis­tent with things you like to do. (Con­tact me if you want to talk fur­ther about a plan that is right for you - I love helping people find their soul mate workout!)



Write it down. Sched­ule your work­outs just like you would book a meet­ing at work. If you plan to work out on your lunch break and a co-worker asks you to go to lunch, say you’ve already got an appoint­ment. You do — with your­self! Would you back out of an impor­tant meet­ing at the last minute just because you didn’t feel like it? Hope­fully not. Plan your work­outs a week in advance, write it down in your cal­en­dar, and stick to it.



Get account­abil­ity from a fit­ness pro­fes­sional. Before you argue that you don’t have enough money to hire a per­sonal trainer, what if I told you you could get help at no addi­tional cost to you? Join­ing my website makes me your FREE fit­ness and nutri­tion coach! Together, we will develop a fit­ness and nutri­tion plan that com­ple­ments your pri­or­i­ties, your goals, your sched­ule and your budget.



Con­sis­tency involves con­sis­tently chang­ing up your rou­tine. If you con­tinue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll con­tinue to get the same results. So, if you want your body to change, you’ve got to change some­thing you do. For exam­ple, I teach strength train­ing classes. I have a few peo­ple who rarely miss a week. They are extremely con­sis­tent. But some of them are still using the same weights they were using a year ago, and their bod­ies aren’t chang­ing. Few gym frus­tra­tions are worse than putting in the time to work­out with­out see­ing results. Make a com­mit­ment to change some­thing every­time you work out. Lift heav­ier. Wear weighted gloves to kick­box­ing. Run on incline. You don’t have to change your activ­ity — just make small adjust­ments to your routine.



Have a "why" that is deeper than a smaller pants size. Sure, losing weight will be good motivation for a while, but after the a few weeks, the weight doesn't come off as quickly. Instead of focusing on the scale, make the reason you work out to be a healthier mom to your children or a better partner in ministry to your spouse. Those things are closer to your heart and will motivate you much more than any number.



Happy New Year!



Let's do this,
Michelle


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next week:: we are back

Next week we are officially back from our holiday vacations! We are looking forward to a great year hear on CLUTCH!


Talk to you soon!



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cat's pix::PW life

>> January 2, 2012

Multi-tasking. It gets stuff done.
#lifeasamom

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