Marilyn’s Musings Weblog

A Minister’s Wife Just Rambling

Amazing Story! February 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — marilyn4him @ 5:56 pm

Well I know I have not blogged in a while and I have much to share with you since my last entry, but I will wait to another time to do that. I want to share with you my story about how God laid on my heart to pray for Travis Cottrell to be our new worship leader.

I will begin with how I became familiar with Travis. I was at the Southern Baptist Convention with my BFF, Wanda.  Travis walked by and she said “that is Travis Cottrell, he is Beth Moore’s worship leader. and he is amazing”. She said, “he is the real deal”. We walked up to him and talked to him for a brief moment.

A few years later Wanda and I went to the Women’s Leadership Conference in Nashville, TN.  Travis was the worship leader. We were so excited. When Travis began leading in worship I was blown away. I told Wanda that he was who Dustin needed to be like. Dustin is my 22-year-old son who at the time was going to Union University on scholarship to major in piano and composition. Dustin was unsure of how God would use him in his major. When I heard Travis I immediately thought of Dustin and how much Dustin’s style matched Travis’s style. I bought Travis’s CD and let Dustin listen to him. He was impressed with Travis, and that was not an easy feat.

I am also a follower of Beth Moore.  I have studied most of her Bible studies. I have been to several of her conferences where Travis was the worship leader. Travis has such a powerful way of leading me to the cross to worship my Lord and Savior.

I have all of Travis’s CD’s.

I said all of that to let you know how much I love and believe in Travis’ ability to lead people to the throne of Christ.

Travis came to my church Englewood Baptist Church in concert in November. I couldn’t wait. The night Travis came to Englewood was a very moving and powerful service. I was excited that my husband and son were getting to hear him for the first time. I couldn’t wait to see if they enjoyed the concert as much as I did. Randy said that it was an amazing time of worship. I remember just being in such awe and reverent worship that I stood when no one else did and just worshipped my Lord. That night I looked at Randy and said wouldn’t it be awesome if Travis was our worship leader. He agreed. We enjoyed meeting Travis, Angela and the his children that night. I even called Wanda and let her talk to Travis on the phone. It was an awesome night.

I didn’t mention that I am on staff at Englewood. I am the Administrative Assistant to the Student Ministries. In December we were called into a special staff meeting to where our pastor, Bro. Ben Mandrell, announced that our worship leader, Bradley Gray, was leaving to go to Bethel College as a professor to train young men in leading worship. Brad was a great worship leader. I was sad that he was leaving. Immediately, Travis Cottrell came to my mind. I started praying that God would lead Travis to be our new worship leader. I went home and shared the news with Randy that Brad had resigned and told him that I was going to pray that God would lead Travis to replace him. I began praying just that.

In January Travis and his family came to Englewood for a worship service. I didn’t see him but Randy did. I had no idea that he had come to check out the church because Bro. Ben had been talking to him about coming as our worship pastor.

In February, the staff was called into a staff meeting to announce the new candidate to replace Brad. I just made a bold statement that I was praying that it was Travis Cottrell. I thought they would laugh at me and say yeah right. I had no idea that in fact that is the very one that God had called to be our worship pastor. I was so excited to see how God had been at work in this amazing journey. You can hear Bro. Ben and Travis share their side of the story on their blog or our church website. It truly is amazing how God was at work and is at work in Englewood Baptist Church.

This is what God taught me through this journey. He taught me to pray bigger than what is possible. He taught me to pray the impossible. This increased my faith and prayer life in a remarkable way. I will no longer settle for the possible, but reach for the impossible.

“You didn’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I assure you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matt. 17:20


It’s Been A While!!! November 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — marilyn4him @ 4:45 pm

I guess I took a long siesta from blogging. My life all of a sudden got very hectic. I will give you a short synopsis of my past few months. These are not in chronological order.

  1.  I started a new job as Administrative Assistant to the Student Ministries.   This is an exciting new journey I am on. I have lots to learn, but love it. It is so amazing that God chose me for this job.
  2. My boys finally got moved and settled in their new homes. Dustin in St. Louis, and Cody in Murray, Ky. This was a transitions for all of us, but God has been gracious to help me adjust.
  3. I started teaching high school girls in Sunday school. This has really challenged me to study God’s word more thoroughly so that I can inspire these girls to live pure and holy lives set apart from this world…what a challenge.
  4. We had some unexpected circumstances come on us at once. Dustin’s car was stolen from his apartment complex in St. Louis. Two weeks later our truck was stolen from our driveway. Then Cody had two finder benders in the same day. It was a lot at once. Dustin got a good settlement from insurance. We had only liability since the truck was older and paid for, soooo we get nothing. Cody will get his car fixed. Then a man who is in our church, who has 7 sons was murdered while being robbed. Three of the sons were in our youth department. It was a very tough time. The funeral was a tribute to his life as a military genius, and godly man and wonderful husband and father…truly a loss. This put our stolen vehicles in perspective. Praise God we were not harmed.
  5. I have had some exciting things happen as well. I got to attend a Beth Moore conference in Memphis, TN. It was amazing. I love to worship with Travis, Beth and 20,000 women. God was truly in the FedEx Forum. Next, I won tickets to see Casting Crowns from KLOVE! The concert was “AWESOME”. Randy went to college with Mark Hall the lead singer, so we got to go back stage and hang out with the band. It was so surreal. Mark came up to Randy and gave him a big hug and asked what he was up to these days. That was a night to remember.
  6. Tanner was blessed with free tickets from his cousin, Ricky Lee, to the Memphis Motorspeedway to watch a NASCAR Nationwide Race. He was so excited. Randy took him to the race. They had a great time. He got to meet Kenny Wallace’s NASCAR hauler driver when they stopped for a bathroom break.  He let Tanner look at his truck. Tanner also got his autograph. He was thrilled.
  7. David Platt an amazing preacher from Birmingham, AL came to Union University and preached in chapel. I was able to go and hear him speak. The main thing I remember about him is his gift of memorizing God’s Word. He quoted all of Psalm 119. He also at another time quoted Romans chapters 1-8. He is a gifted young preacher.
  8. Travis Cottrell came and did a concert at our church. He had his praise team with him and they sang with our choir. I can not tell you how inspiring and moving that was. I felt the presence of God in a powerful way. We also got to talk to Travis and meet his family. It turns out I knew his mother-in-law. She works at Union, and she is from my small town….small world.
  9. My youth pastor” boss “and his wife had a baby girl, India Caroline. This was an exciting time. I got to hold that sweet new-born baby girl. She was just perfect. Since I can’t have my own anymore I will spoil theirs.
  10. I am so blessed by my heavenly father who has given me such joy and peace through all of my trials. He has blessed me with a wonderful husband, 3 terrific sons, and a special family. I love them all so much. I also have amazing friends that God has brought into my life to bless me beyond measure. Thank you Lord for all you have given me. I am blessed to be your child.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. ..(2 Pe 1:3-4).




Great Shopping Day! September 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — marilyn4him @ 12:55 am

I am not what you would call a shopper. I don’t really enjoy shopping. One thing is I never find anything I like when I am actually looking to buy, and another is I find things I like when I don’t have the money.

I am a clearance rack shopper when I do need to buy new clothes. Since I am starting a new job in a couple of weeks, I decided I better go shopping for some new clothes. I am working overtime for a couple of weeks, so I decided I could use that money to treat myself to some new clothes. The job I have now I don’t have to dress up since I am the only one in the office. However, my new job is at our church and I need to dress more professionally. My new title is Administrative Assistant to the Minister of Students.

While I was on my way to the mall I prayed and asked the Lord to help me find some clothes that I would actually like and for some good bargains. That is exactly what He did. I started out shopping at Sears since my husband works there and we get 20% off. I found 3 pair of pants and 2 tops here all of which were 75-90% off. I then got 20% more off. WOW!! It was only $58.00. Then I went to JC Penny’s and found a pants suit on the 75% off rack. After that I went to Macy’s to look at some perfume I have wanted since last Christmas. My friend Kim works in the perfume department. She told me that they were having a huge sale on the perfume, for the same price as the perfume only I got the perfume, lotion, and bath gel, also a little bag with another bottle of perfume, lotion and bath gel. I went ahead and splurged. I thought I could give the second gift set as a Christmas gift. That way mine was “free”. I was so excited.

Shopping 001

Shopping 002

I started feeling guilty since I hadn’t bought for anybody but myself. So I checked out the men’s clearance racks at Penny’s. I got Randy a pair of suit pants that were $100 on sale for $19.97….amazing. I found Dustin a pair of dress pants that were $50 on sale for $9.97. I went back to Sears to look for a shirt and found Dustin a shirt that was reg. $42 on sale for $7.99 and I got 20% off.

Shopping 003

Shopping 004

I may become a shopper after all. It felt so good to get some new clothes and to save $430 at the same time. I didn’t even spend $200 it would have been $636…..can’t beat that. I give all the praise to God for hearing my prayer and answering it.

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!~ Isaiah 65:24


Remembering 9/11 September 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — marilyn4him @ 6:40 pm

I can remember 9/11/01 like it was yesterday. I was teaching a class at the Department of Human Services. That day I was going to show a video, so I turned the TV on to put in the video. As soon as I did there was a news flash with breaking news from New York. They were showing the first tower after it was hit. As we looked on the next plane flew into the second tower. We sat their in stunned silence. I was horrified. I didn’t know what was going on. I thought maybe we were at war. I also thought the end was near. We continued to watch as both buildings collapsed into a pile of rubble. Then, to our disbelief another plane was hijacked and flew into the Pentagon.   Even though I had a government job, I began to share the gospel with these grief stricken mom’s. I dismissed the class for the day. I went back to my office and called Randy and the boys to make sure they were ok. I told them to turn on the TV and see what was going on. All day I felt shocked. As news continued to follow about the many men and women who lost their lives I was saddened even more.

I was also proud of the men and women who worked diligently to rescue the survivors. Thank you to our President for his quick response in defending our freedoms. Thanks to the policemen and firemen who risked their own lives, and to the many volunteers who worked hard to help bring any relief they could. Thank God for His sovereignty and peace during a time of pain and suffering. Father may you continue to comfort the ones who lost loved ones on that horrible day. May you bring your peace to America! 

II Chron. 7:14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.


A Week of Change

Filed under: Uncategorized — marilyn4him @ 1:06 am

st. louis trip 001

Saturday: MOVING DAY!!! We loaded up the Uhaul trailer with all of Dustin’s stuff for his new apartment in St. Louis, MO. We headed out for a four hour drive. As you can see in the picture we couldn’t add one more thing to that trailer. I rode in the car with Dustin while Randy and Tanner followed behind us in the Suburban pulling the trailer. We get almost into St. Louis when we drive into a huge rain storm all of a sudden. The traffic that was going 75 mph. came to a sudden halt. We were about to crash into the car in front of us. Dustin slams on his brakes and we began to hydroplane. He was able to get us off the side of the road before Randy, who was hydro planing behind us rammed us into the car in front of us. Needless to say we were all a bit shaken up. It was a very close call. We were praising God for coming to our rescue and guiding our cars safely. We get to Dustin’s apartment I was a bit overwhelmed with the big 17 story building and the fact that it was so busy. His apartment building used to be a grand hotel that was built in 1928. It is charming. The ceilings , chandeliers and trim work are beautiful. On the top of the 17th floor is an outside sitting area and overlook. I got nervous being up here. Dustin’s apartment is on the 9th floor.  This made moving a bit challenging. We had to use a freight elevator.Kandace comes over to help.  We get his stuff moved in. We are all hungry so we go downtown to Union Station and eat at Landry’s. Union Station is a beautiful old train depot. It was a fun place to visit. We make pallets and crash for the night.

st. louis trip 007

Dustin's apartment building

Dustin's apartment building

On top of Dustin's building.

On top of Dustin's building.On the 17th floor.The Terrace on the 17th floor.

Sunday: We unpack some boxes and put his new dishes in the dishwasher. We eat breakfast and lunch at this quaint little cafe in his apartment building called 2Schae Cafe. The owners were a great christian couple. After lunch we go into a community area in the building and play ping-pong and pool. Then we go to the zoo. I love the zoo. Kandace joins us. We enjoyed watching the sea lion show. The hippo exhibit was also a big hit. We closed down the zoo. We got free hot dogs and corn dogs from a stand that had cooked too much. We went back to the apartment for the night.

2Schae Cafe owners

2Schae Cafe owners

st. louis trip 029

st. louis trip 041


Monday: We grab some breakfast at 2Schae Cafeand then hit the town for some sight seeing. We toured one of the most beautiful Catholic Basilica Churches I have ever seen. It was indescribable. My pictures didn’t do it justice.  Check out the website and watch a tour of it . We left here and went to the ARCH. On our way, we were driving down the road, I was looking at pictures on our camera from the zoo. Randy, not noticing a side street light that is RED, SLAMS on his brakes. I sling forward like a crash dummy and hit the dashboard, hard. I cut my knee, bruised my arm, and feel sore all over. We get to the arch.  I toured the museum while Randy, Dustin and Tanner went up to the top of the arch.I am a chicken when it comes to heights. I enjoyed all the history about Lewis and Clark and the westward expansion.  When they get back we go over to the old historic court house. This was disappointing because it was under construction. We go pick up Kandace and go to eat at Pie Pizza a St. Louis speciality. It was great pizza. Then we went to Ted Drewes for frozen custard. This was a famous place in St. Louis. It was delicious. Finally we gave each other big hugs and I loves you’s and me, Randy, and Tanner leave Dustin and Kandace standing in front of the hotel. We are all crying. Randy starts out driving, but after we get out of St. Louis he let me drive because he wasn’t feeling well. I was fine driving until I remembered the bridge I had to drive over from Missouri to Tennessee. I got sick at my stomach thinking about it. Tanner said mom remember, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”. Well, I couldn’t pull over and let Randy drive across the bridge after that. I had to trust God to give me the strength to drive over it myself, and HE did!!! I felt such peace as I drove over that bridge. Thank you Lord for growing my faith. We get home about 1:00 a.m.


st. louis trip 062

st. louis trip 102

st. louis trip 103

The Old Courthouse from ontop of the Arch.

The Old Courthouse from ontop of the Arch.

Tuesday: I go to work from 9:00 – 12:00. This is usually my day off but I am covering for the other secretary while she is on an Alaskan cruise. I left work and went to Birth Choice where I am a client advocate. I got a call while there to come to the church to meet with the pastor about my new job. I ran over to meet with him. It was so awesome. He welcomed me on staff and said he was excited to have me. The youth minister I am going to be working for kept saying he was super excited to have me. The best part was when the pastor prayed over me about the job and for my family. It was special. I went back to Birth Choice and met with my director to tell her I would have to change my schedule there because of my new job. I got that worked out. I did paper work until 7:30. I went home to find no groceries. So, we go to eat some Mexican food at like 9:00…not good. We run to the grocery store for milk…yeah right. We got a buggy full. I talk to Dustin to find out that he had a bad day. He was upset that his two jobs schedule collided. He was also down about us leaving. Cody had a fight with his room mate over the weekend so I called to make sure they had made up. They had. That was good.

Wednesday: I go to work and I have to tell my boss I am resigning. I was not looking forward to this at all. I prayed hard about it. God really came through for me. He gave me the courage and the words to say. My boss handled it very professionally. He even said I had done a good job for him and helped him get things caught up….whooo..that was over. I worked until 5:00 got to church by 5:30 for Bible study. Met with the youth minister afterwards about me starting to teach next Sunday. I go home and cook a late supper. As I was finishing up Cody walked in the door. He came to pay some bills and put money in the bank. He ate with us and then was off again. He told us he got a speeding ticket coming home. Yikes. It was good to see him and give him a hug even for a brief moment. I talked to Dustin and he had a much better day. He got his schedule worked out and he was in better spirits. I thank he is going to be fine.

 I miss my boys, but I have resolved to put them into God’s hands. He loves them even more than I do, and He wants what’s best for them. I am thankful for the ways of communicating we have…phones, Facebook, chats,email, etc. They didn’t have these in the olden days, when their kids left home and moved west, sometimes they never saw them again and only had letter writing that came onlyonce in a while. I have to remind myself to be thankful for the time we had and the time we will have. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful family. I am love all of them.


A Busy Week! September 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — marilyn4him @ 12:25 am

This weekend was spent having some good ole family fun. Friday night me, Randy and Tanner decided to go to “Chuck E. Cheese”. We had a great time playing games and challenging each other on the basket ball shoot out, ski ball, and Deal or No Deal games. It was a blast. The pizza was great too. By the way if you are planning to go to Chuck E. Cheese go to their website and print off a coupon for extra tokens and cheaper pizza. Saturday night me, Randy, Dustin, and Tanner went to play goofy golf.  It was a close game. We had a 3-way tie for a long time and would go back and forth for the lead. Finally, going into hole 18 me and Randy were tied, but he beat me by one stroke. It was fun to laugh and play together. Sunday was spent in worship and rest. I went to ‘Mission Jackson” we had a great turn out. We had about 50 kids. This ministry is really booming. We had one 10 year old girl to receive Christ as her savior. That is worth it all.

Monday: I was at work and got a call from Tanner that my parents had made a surprise visit. He was trying to keep it all under wraps and let me be surprised when I got home, but I could hear my mom talking in the background. When I got home we cooked up a good ole southern meal. Mom had brought corn, okra and tomatoes from the garden. I made a meatloaf and mashed potatoes to go with the other veggies. It was a good meal. Of course we topped it off with warm and gooey chocolate chip cookies.

Tuesday: This was Dustin’s 22nd birthday. We all loaded up in the suburban and went to see Cody at Murray State. He wanted to show us his clean apartment. He had cleaned all day on Saturday. We hung out there for a little while and played  “Rock Band” . Cody, Jessica and Preston joined us and we all went to Patti’s 1880’s Settlement to eat. This is one of my favorite places. There were 9 of us in all. We had a great meal, and spent some time walking around Patti’s. I want to say that I am so proud to be Dustin’s mom. I am proud of the man he has become. I know God will do some amazing things in his life. I love you Dustin and I am so blessed that God chose me to be your mom.

Dustin's Birthday @ Patti's 003

Dustin's Birthday @ Patti's 011

Dustin's Birthday @ Patti's 018

Dustin's Birthday @ Patti's 021

Dustin's Birthday @ Patti's 020

Dustin's Birthday @ Patti's 022

Dustin's Birthday @ Patti's 023

Dustin's Birthday @ Patti's 026

Dustin's Birthday @ Patti's 028

Dustin's Birthday @ Patti's 030

Wednesday: My parents got up and headed back home. I went to work and then straight to church for my Bible study. This week Priscilla challenged us to be willing to follow God into the wilderness, trusting that He knows what is best for us. She told us the wilderness would not be easy but worthy it.

Thursday: I spent the morning cleaning and doing laundry. I met my friend Leslie for coffee at the “Green Frog”coffee shop. We enjoyed some good coffee and conversation. While I was there I got a call that I was offered a job at church to be the assistant to the youth minister. I have been dealing with this job opportunity since July. I am praying for guidance and direction as to whether to take it, since the salary will be less than what I am making now. I went to the library and got me some good books to read. I love to read. I read several books at a time. Then me and Dustin spent the evening shopping for his new apartment. His church had him a kitchen shower, so he got lots of great gifts for the kitchen. He was also given a gift card to Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We used his gift cards and got most of the things he will need to fill his apartment. He will be moving to St. Louis this weekend.

Friday: After work we will get Dustin packed up. We will load up the Uhaul truck and head to St. Louis for the 3 day weekend. I am looking forward to spending some time in St. Louis. Of course we will visit the zoo, arch, and Science Center where Dustin will be working. The good thing is it is all FREE. I just hate to leave my baby behind. I know he will be fine. He is looking forward to living in St. Louis and being out on his own and close to his girl friend. I pray that God will open up some great opportunities for Dustin to use his gifts and talents. I pray that God will make a way for him to get into Washington University for his masters if this is what God has for him. He is yours Lord. Thank you for lending him to me.


New Bible Study August 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — marilyn4him @ 8:56 pm


I am so excited to be starting a new Bible study. The study is One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer. I can’t wait to delve into this study and discover the truths God has waiting on me to learn. This study is a journey with the Israelites from captivity in Egypt to the promised land of Canaan that flows with milk and honey. I want to reach my promised land that God has for me, a land that offers life (milk) and life more abundantly (honey). I first have to leave my Egypt behind before I can begin the journey to the promised land. I pray that God will give me the courage to leave whatever sin has me inslaved, so I can pack my bags and start my journey for the promised land. I am sure it will be an exciting adventure, but not free from pain and obstacles, but well worth the ride.

John 10:10 “The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; I cam e that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

One In a Million – Priscilla Shirer from Kris Seidenkranz on Vimeo.