Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pastor' Appreciation Month

I can't believe it’s almost November, yet I couldn't let this month pass without acknowledging some special Pastors in our lives because October is officially, Pastor Appreciation month. To Our Pastor colleagues, Pastor friends and Pastor mentors:  You may feel forgotten, but God has NOT forgotten you. He takes record of every sacrifice made. Every time you gave when it went unnoticed, every prayer prayed for a decision to be made, for a lost soul, for direction for the future and the sheep you lead...He remembers. He took notice when He asked you to leave your hometown, your commonplace and by faith travel to the unknown. He hasn’t forgotten when you turned the other cheek or stood up for someone who couldn't stand up for them self. When you spoke the truth in the face of duplicity, and when you forged through difficult terrain to conquer new ground, He took notice. The times you stayed up late with the family member who lost a loved one by death and the many Saturdays you sacrificed to study and prepare a spiritual meal to feed others on Sunday, He kept record. Thank you for the many times you forfeited attending your own children’s ball games, music concerts, school plays, awards ceremonies, because being a Shepherd is a calling not a job and a calling goes well into overtime, many times. When you stood by hospital beds praying for those facing surgery, or those who received a negative report to offer a hand of comfort and share the good news that Jesus cares.  Yet, little did they know you got a costly speeding ticket trying to get there on time- I won't say names (Mitch Corder and my husband)! When you willingly moved to regions you were burdened for and gave up your desires for God's. The times you stood in the pulpit, hurt, sick, or in pain and no one knew simply because you understand the possibility that someone would be there that Sunday who needed a reminder of God’s redeeming grace and love. Thanks for the many burdens you carry for the people you serve, and the many hours you've invested. ONLY ETERNITY WILL ACCURATELY RETURN YOUR REWARD. (I Tim 5:17 and I Thes. 5:12& 13)

We are forever a part of this circle of likeness, and only a Pastor or a child who grew up in a Pastor’s home can truly understand the demands, the unexplainable burden you carry weekly, the warfare that must be endured and the sacrifices you make daily.  I commit to praying for you until the Lord releases me, because I know the future ahead will be difficult for us. I will agree and declare with the word of God in Haggai 2:9, that your latter will be greater, in John 4:38 that you shall not only reap where you have sown but you shall reap where you have not sown. According to Psalms 126:5 that every tear sown you shall reap joy, and that you shall complete with success what God has started, according to Philippians 1:6! Be encouraged for the labor of love you have given, God keeps good records.

To my husband, who has already read this because I sent it to him privately and but I choose to honor you publicly here on I posted it on my blog! I LOVE YOU! YOU ARE THE REAL DEAL!!!!!!!!!!! No not perfect, but humble in heart, a servant leader, and a man of great character! This journey has been abundant alright with its ups and downs but I wouldn't trade it. I bless you today Torrey Herrin and I honor you for leading and pastoring me for the past 21 years. You deserve my praise, honor and unending support and I do it gladly. Noah & Karson are blessed to have you as their father and pastor.

To all the pastors I have had the privilege to sit under or serve with, Thank you!
Thank you for the investments and sacrifices you made in my life personally and the lives of my children. There are too many to name but if you wondered if you made a difference, you did! I am a life forever changed. I want to tag my senior pastors: B. Loyd Womack, Jerry Noble, Roland Pendley, Ron Scott, Mitch Corder, Robert Herrin and Lee U campus Pastor Robert Shephard. “Do not grow weary in well doing (because we need you) but in due season you shall reap ALL you have sown!” Galatians 6:9 

#neverforgotten #praying4you

Blessings, Polly

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Press the Mute Button

After the fall, Adam tried desperately to explain to God that he was ashamed and afraid because he was naked. I love the way God responded. He asked Adam, "Who told you that you were naked?"  

Obviously by his actions Adam had been influenced by a voice other than the voice of God. Up until this point God never mentioned to Adam that he was "naked", although he had been naked the day before and the day before and the day before… So the question is, what voice convinced Adam he was naked? What voice told him God wouldn't accept him that way, leaving him feeling so inadequate and ashamed that Adam felt he had no other choice but to hide.

If you've lived in this world long enough there have been other voices competing for your attention. Voices that have spoken loudly and without relent, trying to convince you to hide behind the veil of secrecy, shame and guilt. Convincing you to hide from a loving Father full of grace and mercy. 

How often have you and I chosen to listen to some other voice, besides the voice of God? Imagine the grieving heart of our Heavenly Father when we choose to believe something other than what He has said about us.

Who told you it was too late to start over?
Who convinced you, that you didn't belong?
Who threatened that you could never be forgiven?
Who intentionally made you feel incapable, inadequate and unaccepted?
Who whispered you'd never accomplish anything significant? Who said you couldn't do it?
Who refuses to forgive you?
Who has denied you a second chance?
Whose convinced you, your dreams don't matter?

It certainly was not God!

He said, "You are the head and not the tail." He declared, "You are an overcomer!" He gave you "all authority in heaven and earth" and He promised, "In your weakness you would be made strong." God said, "He loves you unconditionally" and nothing can change His mind about you. He promised, "To never leave you or forsake you" and His desire is for you to be blessed beyond measure.  He proved that you were worth dying for, that's the love He has for you and He has prepared a place for your future. 

It's time to press the mute button to the voices that contradict God. The enemy loves to deceive us into thinking we aren't worth it, there is no good in us. Well the truth be known there isn't much good in me, but "while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me" (and you). That's amazing love…

You don't have to get in the ring with the enemy and argue your point. You just have to remind him, God's word is final! Shut out the negative voices, saturate your mind with God's word and be free from past mistakes and imperfections. Today I hope you realize friend, God loves you just the way you are!

Blessings, Polly

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The heart  is heavy tonight because the boy leaves again in the morning… Headed back to college starting his sophomore year seems impossible. Don't be mistaken I'm very excited for him but reality concurs, as quickly as the first year passed the second, third, and fourth years will just be a memory before long. Is it wrong for a mom to yearn for the days that held naptime and walks pulling him in the wagon with the little brown dog tagging along? Is it wrong for a Mom to miss picnics in the back yard, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, playing in the sprinklers, hide and seek, little league baseball, my baby girl needing help putting up her pony tail, painting her tiny toes and finding the match to her favorite sock? I reminisce about nights I gave them bubble baths together because it saved time and really for a Mom of toddlers it was the only way to keep them contained long enough to stare into those pairs of dark brown eyes and tell them, you are important, you matter so much, you are loved! I would remind them one day you will leave Mommy and Daddy and make your own choices, sing your own song, walk your own step. Please always remember the love of home will forever be your constant foundation to return to, to catch your breath, recoup from hard work, and be reminded of who you are and whose you are!

Her same brown eyes stare me hard tonight but now her lids are colored and lashes are long in length...and when I tell her I'm proud of her and I love her deep, she smiles, wraps her arms around me and says, "Thanks Mom, I love you too!" 

His same brown eyes stare hard at me tonight, no longer smells of baseball game and outside dirt but of polo cologne and fresh breath. When I reach for him to kiss his face all over, he reaches back, stern hugs, defined biceps engulf me and we embrace. A wink seals our love! I look up into his eyes to stare the boy back as we exchange an I love you...

Can't stop the tears when you settle down long enough to realize life is moving I head to the bedroom to find solace in my husband. Searching into his brown eyes to find the strength I just don't have right now. He stares back his eyes strong and comforting...he reminds me this is life and what parenting is all about. We embrace tightly and linger awhile, a sigh of satisfaction knowing the blessing of parenting, the love of family, and the inevitable change of seasons! 



Blessings, Polly

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Pink Envelope

A few years ago I went to my mailbox to retrieve the mail. I don't even know what prompted me to, usually my husband is home before I am and he delights in getting the mail. (inside joke) Opening the door to the mailbox buried beneath the pile of bills, magazines, and coupon advertisements a pink envelope solicited my attention! I love the color pink, so naturally leaving the other mail inside the box, I reached for the pink envelope first.  I quickly flipped the envelope over and to my delight the envelop was addressed to me and written in the most beautiful calligraphy penmanship I have ever seen. In the top left corner the out of state return address was written in the same penmanship, but I didn't recognize the address or who it was from. My curiosity was heightened and naturally I couldn't wait to see what was inside so without delay standing in the middle of my driveway I opened the envelope. The inside flap was decorated with beautiful black & white velum paper meticulously decorated with pink, black and white glimmer jewels. It sparkled in the sun! The penmanship continued as the note read:

April 28, 2011

Dearest Polly,
You may be surprised to receive this letter from me, but I just couldn't resist. I guess I could have just as easily sent my message through Facebook or email, but I knew God was prompting me to hand write this for you. I will take the credit for the color choice and design of the card (I hope you like it and I hope your favorite color is still pink.) however the message is inspired by God. 
Polly, your love for God is strong, unwavering and contagious. Yet it makes you a great target for the enemy. In my prayer time today I was drawn to find this quote for you. I had to dig a little deep to locate it but I am so glad I did. I have penned it below. Reading it again for myself, it brought strength to my soul and joy to my heart. I hope it will do the same for you. 
Remember God has a great plan. My husband and I are praying for you, Torrey, and the children. No matter what you face today, don't every stop dreaming, don't ever stop trying, don't ever stop obeying, don't ever stop speaking....your destiny awaits. 
(Mrs. -------)
 Quote by Theodore Roosevelt

It’s not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the door of deeds could have been done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

Deuteronomy 1:21
 "See, the LORD your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

(Polly adds)
The pink envelope was a word in season. God always knows what we need and exactly when we need it. I hope this quote inspires you to keep moving forward. Many who jump on the ban wagon to criticize those who are actually in the arena, are only doing so because of the lack of determination and motivation they have within themselves.

Those who compare become critical. I have since learned people who are intimidated by you, will talk about you in hopes that others won't find you so appealing.....even so TALK GOOD ABOUT THEM! You will sow a harvest of good.

I am so thankful for my dear friend's letter to me penned with God's message. I hope it encourages you. Don't give up  my friend. You may be tired, weary and worn, but you are still in this journey and He hasn't forgotten about you.

Challenge: even through your struggle take a moment and send a note of encouragement to someone else. You will see even in its simplest form you are sowing good seed and you just may be the words of encouragement they need to take another step.


Blessings, Polly

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Climb Higher

We just returned from a wonderful family vacation in the mountains in North Georgia. Our first day we decided to tour a few of the popular hiking trails and we landed upon some beautiful waterfalls and landscapes where it was impossible to believe there isn’t a God. The landscapes of His creation are overwhelming! 

Every time I stood in front of those rushing waters, rumbling down the side of the mountain, I thought about God and His amazing power and might. He spoke the mountains into existence and with the same voice told the waters where to go..... if you have any doubt in who God is, take a hike up a mountain. 

The hike up is hard, but worth the view from the top. If I would have stayed in the car, given in to many of my excuses and chosen not to climb the mountain I would have missed the experience of the mountain top. I may have heard the rushing waters from the bottom and even experienced some of it’s left over, puddling around my feet in the pool of water at the base of the mountain...but I would never have seen it’s origin. I would never have been able to see the might and beauty of it’s entirety. 

When we stop climbing we miss the view. When we stop climbing we forfeit the beauty. 

The climb to higher ground is a spiritual one, though some physical work may also be required. The climb is rough and traveling light is necessary. We didn’t take much up the mountain, a bottle of water, bug spray, of course the camera phone to capture these awesome pictures. Oh and one of the kids may have had a pack of gum in their pocket but nothing more, because traveling light was a priority. We needed to conquer ground, quickly. 

Traveling light on this road of life will require us to let go of the past, and let go of other hindrances to our progress that weigh us down. Burdensome thoughts, negative thinking, the desire to control things we can not change...these heavy things don’t help us to climb, they keep us sitting at the bottom of the mountain, wishing we could be at the top. 
When you decide to climb you resist the urge to listen to the whispers of the doubting spirit that try to talk you out of the “hard work”. Instead with every level higher, you renew your mind and encourage your spirit. 

Torrey and I picked up the rear for most of our trip up the mountain (that means we were in the back, ha). I should note we are at least 25+ years older than our company of kids and their friends and that would have been a good enough excuse, but age didn’t stop us either. We changed our attitude and we started to "think" like we were 25 years younger, we encouraged one another (YOU need an encourager in your life!), and we believed we could do it. Oh friend I am so glad we did, the view was worth it.  

The experience was unexplainable, never could the others have put into words what they saw, we had to take the challenge to experience the climb for ourselves. 

The experience you forfeit because you decide not to climb can never be articulated to it's full capacity by others, you must get up, get going and experience the climb for yourself. 

There's so much more ahead for you beyond the valley. Yes the christian is required to go through the valleys but we are also encouraged to walk out of them. How? Renew your mind, mature your thought life, and change your attitude. Encourage yourself and those who climb with you and BELIEVE God is able to get you to the mountaintop. He can, you just have to be willing to climb. Go get your hiking shoes, I'm ready to go with you!

Blessings, Polly

Monday, May 5, 2014

When I said, "YES"!

When I said "YES", He changed my wavering days into days of purpose. He wiped away my past and showed me a favored future. Instead of walking alone, He now walks with me. He gave me hope when I was hopeless and He clothed me in His righteousness when I was unworthy. He transformed my mind.

He traded my ashes for beauty and crowned me with His everlasting love. What others may have thrown away and discarded in me, He uses for His purpose. 

He gives me shelter under the loving care of His mighty arm and covers me. I am my beloveds and He is mine. 

He walks with me and talks with me, and the love letter of His word comforts me daily. He continues HIStory in my heart, in my next step, in my future and in my legacy. I will forever share my love story because He has changed my life.

I still have uncertainty about the future and this life on earth has made me shed a few tears, but He has promised never to leave me or forsake me! He has made me a home in heaven, where one day I will see Him face to face.

I've said, "yes" many times but the most significant yes was to Jesus! He can change your life, He's just waiting for you to say "yes".

Blessings, Polly

Monday, March 17, 2014

Give Yourself A Break

Each of us has an internal dialogue of conversation going on every day. In fact we probably talk more to ourselves than we do anybody else. This can be an important concept to evaluate considering a positive self image is necessary in order to be successful in this life.

So what do you say to yourself? Who do you say you are? What are you speaking to the inner chambers of your heart? That repeated conversation that captivates your attention at random moments throughout the day, that unconscious interruption that comes out of no where, most of the time that voice tells us who we're not.

"You'll never be capable of handling this situation?"

"You don't measure up to the qualifications they need for that job?"

"You'll never change!"

"You have no will-power, you can't commit to anything more than a day."

"You don't measure up."

"They don't like you, they'll never accept you into this family."

Constantly our brain bombards our heart with conversations like these, acknowledging everything that has ever been wrong with us. These recordings continuously replay negative thoughts of who we are not, until we believe that's who we are!

If you have one of those recordings it's time to destroy it. 

This negative self image keeps you in
bondage and hinders your potential. So what, you've made a few mistakes, you didn't get the job you planned for, you still have a bad habit you haven't been able to break, your in-laws still don't give a rip about you and it's been twelve weeks and you haven't lost a single pound. Give yourself a break! Stop being so hard on yourself and instead of feeding your thoughts with who you are not, start telling yourself who you are and who you will become.

God thinks you are pretty amazing and He knows you have undeniable potential. As a matter of fact He went to great lengths to prove it, He sent His only son Jesus Christ to die for you. Now that's amazing!

So start today by telling yourself who you are in Christ. Remind yourself daily you are loved and accepted by the one who holds your future. Don't let comments or mistakes of the past confound you in the prison of failure. Release yourself to be free, to be all that GOD has called you to be. I'll be the first one to tell you, with God you can do it!

Blessings - Polly

Monday, March 10, 2014

Stay Focused

When my daughter was just old enough to talk she always repeated things to her Father and I as if we didn't hear her the first time. As she got a little older her technique for communicating important information was still to repeat it but it always was proceeded by, "Mom, are you listening to me?" Waving her little arms toward her face she would motion with her index fingers to her eyes, "Right here Mom, right here, I have to tell you something."  If in her opinion I or her father, didn't engage enough eye contact she would literally grab my face with her tiny chubby toddler hands and turn my eyes towards her begging, "Please Mom look at me, I need to tell you something." What my toddler had to tell me was never life threatening or an emergency, as it would appear but it was important to her and she wanted my complete and undistracted attention focused on her.

Now that Karson is a teenager we joke with her about her behavior as a toddler and she will sometimes now in her cute but annoying way, mimic her toddler behavior just to get a laugh from us and the not so funny smirk from her older brother.

Life can so easily throw distractions our way weekly, daily and for some even hourly: Flat tire, loss of a job, illness, diagnosis of a disease, death, financial loss, tragedy, terrible news via a phone call, war or a government shut-down. It's easy to get side-tracked and focused on our problems, especially when they seem to come on the hour every hour. By the end of a typical day we are exhausted physically and mentally, consumed with the what if's, the how comes, and the why not's! 

All the while God is waiting for our attention. He is wondering why we continue to focus on the problem instead of the problem solver. I sometimes amuse myself and think He may be looking down waving his arms like my toddler and saying, "Hey you, focus on me!" Then with His loving and caring hands he would grab my face and turn it back towards heaven and he says, "Now why are you so pre-occupied with temporary circumstances? Lean not unto your own understanding, my child....just trust me!'

Oh the lessons we can learn from our children. When we turn our focus COMPLETELY on God He gives us peace and in His peace we are able to stop focusing on the problem and start praising the one who can solve the problem. 

Distractions are inevitable, choose what you will do with them. Be determined to keep your eyes upon the Lord who is "able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think". (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Do you desire to be victorious in overcoming distractions, then look to the PROBLEM SOLVER, keep your focus towards him and the things of this earth will grow strangely dim. 

polly herrin