I’m sorry I’ve been so silent the last week or so. I’ve been obsessed with a new project. My section, in the Assemblies of God, Michigan District, wanted a place online where we can keep in touch and my wonderful hubby volunteered me to create a social network on ning.com. I was embarrassed he just volunteered me while I was sitting there, but in the end I’m glad he did. Sometimes, he is like God in that he sees my potential better than I ever can.

I ended up creating the network for the entire Michigan district. For all the ministers and wives and lay who minister. It’s like Facebook, but it’s private. It’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. I wish you all were in Michigan. I invited everyone I had e-mail addresses for in Michigan. If you who are reading this, are in the leadership in an Assembly of God church in the Michigan district and you want an invite, let me know in the comments. If you fill out the e-mail address spot in the form, then you don’t need to leave it in your comment. Here is a link if you just want to request a invite through michiganag.ning.com.

We now have 66 members with 156 invites out! I’m so excited. I advertised it at the Women in Ministry Breakaway I went to this past weekend. Even the assistant superintendent and the director or camp ministries and district supervised churches have joined. It’s so exciting to see something I created be so successful. It was all Chris’ idea, but I did the work. We make a great team. I’m terrible with ideas for some reason.

This weekend was the best breakaway ever for me because through the internet (Facebook and MySpace) I’ve kept up with other women and I knew so many this year. I’m really starting to feel at home in our district and I love it. This should help even more. I’m terrible with names, but with the people’s face in front of me every day, I will remember them next time I see them.

Our speaker was Kristi Hollis from The Power Place. She is a very colorful person. She admits that herself. She has 25 differnt paint colors in her house. Is that even possible??? Anyway, I didn’t know what to expect at first, but she really had a lot of good stuff to say about living in the fishbowl as one in ministry. She talked about realizing that there is a purpose for every moment in our lives and we need to be okay with the moment if we want to succeed at our call. The most important part of our call is love; loving our husband, then our children and then those God has given us in our ministry. She challenged us to come up with a plan to make the changes necessary to fulfill our call.

I have many things I need to change about myself. The ones I thought of were my selfishness, poor housekeeping, lack of quality time with my husband and lack of time spent with God each day. I don’t give God enough of my time.

This morning I started reading two different books. They are: Lessons I Learned in the Dark by Jennifer Rothschild and In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen. I started by reading the introduction and chapter 1 of Lessons I Learned in the Dark. Then I read some of In the Name of Jesus. Later I returned to Lessons I Learned and then went back to In the Name of Jesus again. I really don’t know why I did it that way, but I was amazed at the common theme between both books.

In her book, Jennifer Rothschild tells how she was diagnosed as being legally blind at the age of 15 due to a degenerative disorder. She had to learn to trust God or despair. The subtitle to her book is Steps to Walking by Faith, Not by Sight. She tells of her journey with God. She did trust God and became a wonderful Christian woman because of it. She had to learn to walk with God through her darkness.

Lately I have been wondering where my place in the ministry is. I have some hopes and dreams, but I don’t know if they will ever happen. I’m a very practical person and if they aren’t going to happen, I really don’t want to dream them. I don’t see the point. I know many people would disagree with me; even my husband. I am at the place where I know I am called to something, but I am not sure what. I don’t really know my short or long-term destinations. I need to trust God and walk with Him. I need to not concern myself with where I am going, but just focus on who I am going with. With all the talk of women in ministry at General Council this past week, I’ve been wondering where my place is and how far I can get. (more…)

This week was the 52nd General Council of the Assemblies of God. It was held in Indianapolis, IN. There were some major changes debated. Some passed and other did not. I would like to highlight just a few that were the most important to me.

First of all, our new General Superintendent is Brother George O. Wood. I am very pleased with this. I have heard good things about how he is progressive in his thinking and actions. I believe he will do well in this position, especially as we transition into a fellowship that seeks to keep its younger and female ministers and younger constituents. I appreciate all that Brother Trask has dome for us and pray for him as he continues his journey of life with God’ direction.

Our new Assistant Superintendent is Brother Alton Garrison. I must be honest in my hopes that Brother Doug Clay would be voted into this position. However, I know that God led the voting that took place. I was unable to be there, but I did pray fervently for His will. Therefore I know that Brother Garrison is the right man for the job.

Our new Executive Director of US Missions is Brother Zollie Smith; an African American man! Check out 1:16:20 of this video. It is a moving acceptance speak. I am very happy to see what I believe is our first African American on our Assembly of God Executive Team. I praise God for his guidance as people voted. (more…)

I recently went to the Women in Ministry Getaway that our District puts on and I had such a blast! I met a bunch of great new friends! It was very relaxing and on the way home, we went to Coldstone! I LOVE Coldstone! I got to talk about my love of freebies! They even asked me to do a handout. I thought I would post it here.

Websites to Check Out:

http://www.freenclearstuff.com/forum/nfphpbb/ – become a member for the best freebies.

– free music about once a month on a Friday

– free icons for your computer, website or wherever. If you are interested in this, email me at ehooton@msn.com and I will send you an invitation e-mail from them (I get points that way!).

www.istockphoto.com – a free stock photo each week (great for bulletin covers) more of these sites: www.bigstockphotos.com, www.canstockphoto.com

www.doverpublications.com/sampler4 – free weekly clipart e-mail; these are all kinds of fun pictures.

and http://game.giveawayoftheday.com – a free, fully licensed piece of software and game EVERY day! These aren’t free trials. They are fully functional!

– Sign-up with your local group and trade unwanted stuff for free.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agwop – This is a yahoo group for AG pastor’s wives. We swap recipes, ideas and generally are a support group to each other. The membership is limited to just pastor’s wives and the moderator verifies everyone so we all know we are safe to chat. Check it out!


* Create a new e-mail account for your freebies so you don’t get junk in your regular account. You can create a free account in many places like hotmail and yahoo.

* Download a form filler program so you only have to type your address once. Roboform at www.roboform.com is a great free program for that. It integrates with your internet browser and then you only click a button and the form is filled!

* Another helpful browser add-on is an ad and pop-up blocker program. I use Firefox as my internet browser. I think most people use Internet Explorer, but Firefox is great in that you can download add-ons (www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox). I really like the AdBlock Plus add-on (http://adblockplus.org/en/). The freebie forum has a lot of ads, but I never even knew they were there until I checked out the site while I was at work.

* Remember that not all freebie sites are good. A lot of them say they have freebies but they make you complete offers and these offers aren’t free. That’s why I recommend the freenclear forum.

* If a site asks for your credit card, be suspicious. It probably isn’t free.

* Check the freebies frequently (I check at least once a day) because many freebies are limited to a certain number of people. The sooner you get there the better chance you have.

* Don’t get upset if something doesn’t ever come. It happens sometimes, but at least you tried. You will feel worse if you hear you missed out by not trying to get something. It’s better to try than lose out.

* Most importantly: Have fun and enjoy your freebies!

Stuff I Have Gotten Free:

* Toiletries: Deodorant, razors, pads, tampons, Noxzema, face masks, flushable wipes, Fibersure, vitamins

* Fun stuff: Take a look at www.lactosetolerance.org. It’s great for a laugh and they will send you a pack of stuff with a bumper sticker, button, magnet and sign. Others: computer games, software, movie tickets, iron-transfer paper, mood ring, Fonera Wi-Fi router (it makes it so I can share my wi-fi and get free wi-fi from other users all over the country when I travel-and it’s legal!), magazines, cds, books

* Office stuff: post-it notes, pens, stock photos, clipart, fonts

* Kitchen and cleaning stuff: slow cooker liners, 293 pg. cookie recipe book, tea, Swiffer duster

* Stuff for kids: coloring books, fabric softener

* Information: books on controlling your diabetes, faux finish paint chips, child safety kit

* I have gotten all this stuff since really starting the freebie craze in January.