Melissa Wootton Phillips, 1962-2015

Remembering our friend and her godly legacy: ” … a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise” (Prov. 31:30-31).

iB2 News

Melissa PhillipsSpringfield | A faithful and remarkable servant of Jesus Christ went home Thursday night. Melissa Wootton Phillips died July 2 after battling cancer for almost a year. During that time she continued to serve Illinois Baptists admirably in her capacity as Associate Executive Director of the Church Cooperation Team of the Illinois Baptist State Association (IBSA).

“Melissa’s service to the Lord, and to the churches and staff of IBSA over the past 35 years, has been truly immeasurable,” said IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams. “Her professional competence and sacrificial work ethic were always wonderfully complemented by her sweet spirit and servant heart. Whether it was managing finances, personnel policies, our major building renovation, our IBSA camps, or a host of other operations, Melissa served IBSA tirelessly and with great integrity.”

Melissa is survived by her husband, Doug, and two daughters, Laura (who is married to Caleb Adams) and Melinda (who…

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Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference #AWBU 2014

StoryWriting Studio

Talya Tate Boerner and Dorothy JohnsonTalya Tate Boerner & Dorothy Johnson

Interested in connecting with other women bloggers in Arkansas? 

Arkansas Women Bloggers will hold their Fourth Annual Conference, #AWBU 2014, at the Embassy Suites NWA (479-254-8400) in Rogers, Arkansas, September 5–7, 2014.

I highly recommend #AWBU 2014I think #AWBU might be one of the best-kept secrets in Arkansas. I attended #AWBU 2013, and we had a blast! I especially enjoyed connecting (and re-connecting) with other bloggers here in Arkansas.

Here are some helpful links #AWBU 2014 if you’re interested. 

Logo/AWBU#AWBU 2014
#AWBU 2014 Registration
#AWBU 2014 Speakers
#AWBU 2014 Sessions
#AWBU 2014 Foodie Friday

I hope to see you at #AWBU 2014!


Did you attended #AWBU 2013? PLEASE tell us about your experience in a comment below.

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A Faithful Friend

” … We could shake our fists / In times like this / When we don’t understand/ Or we could just hold hands” (“I’m with You”  lyrics by Nichole Nordeman and Bernie Herms). 

Tough times come in everyone’s life. And some people face their storms alone. Do you?

Promise of God’s presence. The psalmist expresses his faith that God will walk wil be with him, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside” (Psalm 23:4 NLT). 

Commitment. Not only does God promise to always be with us, sometimes He brings someone along to walk through the storm with us. 

Old Testament example. The story of Naomi and Ruth in the Bible shows us a picture of two women who walked through some tough times together. Naomi’s husband and her only two sons had died. Ruth was one of her daughters-in-law. And Naomi encouraged both of her daughters-in-law to go back to their homelands. 

But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Personal example. I’ve been blessed to have a few people in my life that have stuck with me during some of my darkest days. And even when that season of life ends, and we go our separate ways, these people remain close to my heart. I pray that I never forget what a gift they’ve been and continue to be in my life.

Gratitude. Today, I as I listened closely to this song by Nichole Nordeman and Amy Grant, I’m reminded once again of some of my faithful friends, who have been with me during some of the hardest times of my life.

“This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends” (John 15:13 MSG).

Blessings. So, I want to dedicate this post to those faithful friends and family members. Even though they’ve seen me at my worst, they still choose to love me, forgive me, and support me. Blessings to you! [You know who you are!]

YouTube/martinone9 “I’m with You” sung by Nichole Nordeman and Amy Grant)

Do you have a faithful friend? Are you a faithful friend? Tell us your story!

Distractions: Focused on Clothing?

Remember every road that God led you … He put you through hard times … Your clothes didn’t wear out and your feet didn’t blister those forty years. (Deut 8: 2, 4)

Distractions. I began this series on distractions, with my post, “What are you thinking?” I wanted to identify some of the things that tend to distract us from seeking God first in our lives, since the Bible encourages us to “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else …” (Matt. 6:33).

Examples. I discovered some great examples of how we tend to get distracted by things in Matthew 6, like food or clothing, money or lack of money, friends or lack of friends, and difficult circumstances. And I discussed my own focus on food in my second post, “Distractions: Focused on Food?”

Seminary. During our lean seminary days, living on a lower income forced me to seek God about all of our of my family’s needs. And I discover many stories in the Bible about how God provides for His people.

Clothing. As I studied the plight of God’s children in the Old Testament, I discovered that during their wilderness journey, the Israelites’ “clothes didn’t wear out and (their) feet didn’t blister those forty years” (Deut. 8:4).

So, as I began to learn how to seek God’s for my own needs, I discovered He was interested in my family’s clothing needs, too. And during this needy season of my family’s life, I learned how to dress for less—before it was popular. I added trendy patches that I found on sale to my kids’ worn-out jeans. I also discovered ways to add cute ruffles to lengthen my daughter’s outgrown pants; I even made some of her outgrown jeans into trendy skirts. And I found ways to update some of my own out-of-style clothing,

As I continued to talk to God about my family’s needs, He answered my prayers in ways that I never expected. And as I redirected my thoughts from worry to trusting God to provide my needs, He provided more than I could ask or imagine.

Today. I’m still tempted to worry about the area of clothing from time to time, especially when I get caught up in comparing myself with other people. But it helps me to remember stories from my past, where God proved that He could provide all my needs.

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19 NLT).

Stay tuned as we talk about another distractions soon: money or the lack of money …


More “Distractions”:

What are you thinking?

Focused on Food?

To you remember a story from your past about how God provided for your needs?