Archive for November, 2008

Pastor Appreciation

I promise to write a more substantial post about what I appreciate about my pastor.  But I wanted to get this up this weekend before Abraham’s offer runs out.

I’m out of town for Thanksgiving right now, so I’ll have to keep this short.

I’ll just say this: (in addition to all of the things I said about him two weeks ago)  I love how much Spencer loves Jesus and His Word and How this love drives everything He does.  I’ve been sitting under his preaching for eighteen years and I am still challenged, encouraged, exhorted and comforted by his preaching and his ministry.

And I’m pretty crazy about him too.  🙂  I hope he wins the tickets!! 🙂


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THIS IS A GIVEAWAY FOR A FREE (autographed!!) COPY OF THE BOOK:  Secrets about Guys that Shouldn’t be Secret by Grace Dove.   If you’re a member of my church, you might remember that last February I spoke at our ladies’ soup and salad supper and the topic of my talk was READING.  The last point of my message was to encourage you to give away good literature to people!   Giving away good books to people whom I love REALLY WORKS FOR ME and I am so excited to tell you about this one.

Let me just say upfront, if you’re the mother of a teenage daughter or a Sunday School teacher of teenage girls, or you just know a teenage girl–  RUN (don’t walk) to your nearest Christian bookstore and buy Secrets about Guys That Shouldn’t Be Secret by Grace Dove today.

I can’t tell you often I see girls in the mall or even girls at church and I just want to run up to them and say, “Oh, I”m so sorry Darlin’, your shirt doesn’t seem to fit! Here’s a bigger one– you can have it!  Cover up!  Quick!  Before someone sees you!” Of course, I would be laughed out of town if I did such things, but still!  It’s my inner, urge!

Immodest clothing for girls and even more– immodest behavior has become such a social norm, that no one even thinks of it as abnomal. In fact, the problem is so endemic, that I have a hard time as a pastor’s wife and a high school girl’s Sunday School teacher trying to even communicate what I’m getting at when I talk about behavior that is “appropriate” and “inappropriate” for Christian girls.

But help is here.

Grace Dove, in her book Secrets about Guys that Shouldn’t be Secret, has figured out how to communicate with girls in a clear, fun, and easy to read way. Written in the much loved “Top 10” magazine format, the book contains twelve issues that are so important for our Christian girls to learn about but she calls the issues “secrets about guys” which makes them all very intriguing for a teenager to read.

First, she covers modesty and includes a fun poll in which 86% of guys surveyed said that “girls wear tops that are too revealing.”  In the process, Grace shows that her theology is rock solid as she subtly weaves in her Biblical reasoning for all of the “secrets.” Under the point of modesty, she talks about modest dressing being “a sign that we are under God’s authority.”

Don’t beat yourself up if you are discovering that your views on modesty don’t match God’s. Even Adam and Eve didn’t get it right the first time. After they sinned, they sewed leaves together to cover themselves. (Genesis 3:7) God didn’t see that as adequate because He provided different coverings for them. (Genesis 3:21) God knew something about the signficance of being properly clothed that Adam and Eve didn’t understand. Now that we have the Bible though, we don’t have to make the same mistake.

My favorite chapter in the book is about guys “liking a little mystery.” “Guys love a challenge,” she says. “Guys are by nature conquereors.”  These are universal truths that most girls just don’t understand.  If girls realized how beautiful mystery is, I really believe many would work a little harder to cultivate it.   She says “Like unwrapped gifts under a Christmas tree, many girls have no secrets, no surprises, no suspense.” If you (as a mother) have ever thought “I don’t want my girls telephoning boys” but then you couldn’t figure out how to explain your thoughts to your daughter, Grace Dove does that for you here. She talks about mystery in behavior, mystery in conversation and mystery in modest dress. And again– her writing style is so teenage girl friendly– your daughter won’t feel “preached to” as she reads it.  She will feel that she is getting sage and savvy advice from someone who has “been there.”

In a day when many girls think that low rider blue jeans, tatoos and nose rings are pretty, Grace talks about what true beauty is.   She mentions  that  one’s walk with the Lord, a humble heart and a pleasant expression are three things that often get overlooked when a girl is working on her appearance.  And–  I LOVED THIS–  she talks about how appealing feminine dress is to guys and challenged the girls to wear a skirt once in a while.  She clearly wants girls to embrace their God-given femininity AND ENJOY IT!  What a fresh and much needed message that our girls need to hear today.

The last chapter was about  guys noticing homemaking skill.  My husband read this chapter  and he completely agreed with everything written.  (And he reminded me that he can still remember that I mended a shirt of his during our college days and that he didn’t wash the shirt for days afterward because he loved the smell of the Downy that I used when I also washed and pressed it for him.)
He concurred with Grace and said it would surprise young women to know how much guys notice a girl who seems to love children and the home.  Apparently, when it comes to marriage material– guys take notice of these things!   And of course, Grace makes the topic so fun by even including a killer Chocolate Chip cookie recipe.

I’m so tempted to go through the book for you line by line and share all twelve of the secrets– but I’m just not going to do it!  I really want you to buy the book and give copies to all of the teenage girls in your life.  (I’m planning on buying a copy for every girl in my Sunday School class!  And NO, I don’t get any sort of kickback from this review–  I just REALLY believe in the message of this book!)   There are many books on Christian dating out on the market, but very few books on the subject of becoming the kind of girl you need to be to attract the right kind of guy.  Whether you are a girl of 13 or 23, this book offers practical wisdom that you need for life.

To learn more about Grace Dove, check out her blog and her personal website!  And to buy the book, just go here!

To be included in the book give away, just leave a comment saying something like “I believe in this message and would love to win the book!”   or you could even write, “I’m not sure what I think about this way of thinking and would love to learn more.  Put my name in for the drawing!”  Whatever.  Just leave a comment!  🙂  And don’t forget to leave a working email address!  I’ll close comments for the giveaway on December 3rd

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!   And for lots of other “Works for me Wednesday” tips from other mothers and wives, go to Shannon’s site at Rocks in My Dryer!

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My Beloved


Here’s a little meme about my husband. If you’re needing blogging material, consider yourself tagged!

What’s your husband’s name?
Well…his name is Spencer Colay Ray. Spencer is his paternal grandmother’s maiden name and Colay is his mother’s maiden name. We’ve passed down both of his names to our children. (Truett Colay and Anna Spencer.) There have been a few people over the years who have shortened his name to “Spence” but not me. I don’t know– it just doesn’t work for me.
How long have you guys been married?
We will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary this December! We had the longest wedding of anybody I’ve ever known! Two preachers/sermons…3 solos…and a segment of congregational worship. But I still love to watch my wedding video every year on our anniversary. I wouldn’t change a thing to this day!

How long did you date?
Hmmmm…well…we met in August of 1988. I was a freshman elementary education major and he a senior Bible major with languages. He says we were introduced to each other three times before I finally remembered who he was. We got to know each other casually over meals in the cafeteria at SBU and then he asked me to go on a walk with him during the last week of September. When we got back to campus, I was chilled to the bone but exhilarated! It was a very long walk. 🙂 I fell in love with him on that walk. He asked me to marry him the following September (of 1989) and we married in December of 1990. We would have married sooner but my parents wouldn’t let us.

How old is he?
41. Hard. to. believe.

Who is taller?
He’s 5’11” and I’m 5’6″ or 7″

Who can sing the best?
Me– but he wins the award for being the loudest singer/worshipper I’ve ever met. He even owns a t-shirt that says “Real men sing real loud.”

Who is smarter?
He is. He went to the U of A on a full scholarship from Dow Chemical and won all kinds of math trophies and went to summer long camps for the gifted/genius/nerd kids. I made good grades, but I was much more concerned about what I was going to wear to class each day. 🙂

Who does the laundry?
Me. I *think* he can run the washer. I’m pretty sure he has done a load when I’ve been sick or something.

Who pays the bills?
From 1990-2000, I did. From 2000-2007, he took over. (Let’s just say, math is not my strong suit.) In September of 2007, we started the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover and now we do the budget TOGETHER and I take care of the hassle of actually writing out the checks, etc… It is the best of both worlds. Truly.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?
In this house, when you are facing the bed…I sleep on the right side. In whatever room we’re in, in whatever house we’re in, I sleep on the side of the bed that’s closest to the bathroom. (The things we divulge on the internet.)

Who mows the lawn?
Before we moved here, Spencer did it. Now RG and Norma do it. (And Truett– every other week.) I have never mowed the lawn in our entire married life! I tried once while Spencer was away, but he insisted that it was not for a lady to do. He’s never said that about the laundry, by the way. 🙂

Who cooks dinner?
Me. Every night without exception, unless we go out. Spencer often will cook a big omelet breakfast on Saturday mornings and he’s also a fantastic griller. That seminary job working for Coburn Catering really paid off. 🙂

Who is the first to admit they are wrong?
It’s about even. Both of us need our space– but someone always eventually apologizes. We rarely go to bed angry.

Who kissed who first?
He asked me if he could kiss me and then he did it. On a bridge in a park in Bolivar.


Who wears the pants?
We both wear pants. However, I am the only skirt wearer. Ha.

Seriously, Spencer is the best spiritual leader I know of. He leads our family, plays with our family, takes care of our family and prays for everyone of us by name every single day. I am confident that our kids will grow up and look back and know that their dad was the head of our home and I pray that my boys will follow his example and that my girls will marry guys just like him!

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No Worries

My husband has been preaching in revival meetings all week, and so it’s making for late evenings.  Last night after the service, we rushed out of the parking lot of the little country church and made our way down the curvy, gravel roads to the nearest Sonic where we pulled in for tater tots and limemades.  Then we made the hour-long trek back home to watch the election returns.  Of course, 10 o’clock is pretty late for this mother of five who rarely sits down long enough to watch anything and so I feel asleep only fifteen minutes after our family huddled in our pajamas around the television.  (Daylight savings was telling my body that it was really 11 o’clock!)  Spencer pulled on my arm–  “Michelle, let’s go to bed.  Obama won.”  I looked up and groggily stared at the huge caption emblazoned on the screen.  “Barak Obama–  44th President of the United States of America.”

“I can’t believe it,” I said.  “May God have mercy on our nation.”  And then I went to bed.

This morning, I have so many thoughts and feelings and have been tempted to write this or that.  The outcome of the election is so depressing to me that I feel like hanging black cloth on the pillars of our house as a sign of mourning.   I would have worn black, but it’s too hot to wear my black turtleneck and I don’t want to wear a dress while I do laundry and clean out Jane’s closet.  But when I ran across Al Mohler’s post for today, it encouraged my heart.  I felt that he spoke so eloquently, so biblically, and so timely to our situation that I decided to just link to him today.

I really am not worried. Sad, but not worried.   My prayer was never for John McCain to win anyway.  My prayer has always been simply for this:  spiritual awakening and revival in America.  May it happen in my lifetime.

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A Fun Night

Jane dressed up as a princess.  After fourteen straight days of pointing to the dress hanging in the closet, she finally got to wear it!  The shoes were her favorite, of course!

Jane saying:  “Mom!  Look!  Abbey gave me ‘paint nails!'”

Anna the Angel.  (Titus never slowed down long enough for me to snap his picture.)

Moses in Nikes.  (That would my husband!)

We passed out 276 Gospel tracks  (I ordered those cool Chick “comic book” tracks.  The kids love ’em!) and said “Jesus loves you a million times!  It was a great Trunk & Treat.  Now, where are those Kit Kat bars anyway?

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