Friday, May 18, 2012

Maddy Graduates to Middle School ~

Congratulations To Our Maddy ~

Another milestone in the Lancaster/Moss family.  Our Madison Nicole graduated from fifth grade to middle school  today.  She is growing up to be such a sweet young lady and we are very proud of her.  Congratulations, Sunshine!

Some Special Memories ~

VBS and Euro-Wide Ladies' Retreat

Vacation Bible School with the Bobby Browns was a special time for  RRBC.  The Browns  began coming to Rhein River about 1993 or 1994.  They were a blessing to many of our military churches in Europe and Asia with their Bible School program.   Our adults enjoyed the Bible School as much as the kids.  In recent years Bro. Bobby had begun calling it Family Bible School.  Here are our workers for one of the years.  

The Lord laid on my heart in 1994 the need to begin a European wide ladies' Retreat for military and missionary wives for the purpose of spiritual refreshing.  The retreat has been such a blessing to women for these many years.  Our sister church, Rheinland Baptist in Landstuhl, Germany , pastored by our dear friend, Bro. Gib Wood, began alternating with us every other year in hosting the retreat. The picture above was taken the year our theme was "O Taste And See."  Our ladies were all decked out in their aprons and chef's hat to go with the theme.

Here are Emmy, Julie and I doing a skit called "Purse-onality", explaining how the type of purse a woman uses defines her personality.

The theme this year was "Reaching the Goal"

Thursday, May 17, 2012


The Bible says in Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."  Our words should build up, not tear down.  Encourage, not discourage.   Sometimes our tongues are just careless.   We don't think before we speak and before we know it we are saying something hateful,  unkind, deceitful or critical.  Psalm 141:3 says,  "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips."   Guard my lips, O Lord and   HELP ME TO  ........

........       Remember that God will  hold me accountable for every word I speak.  (Matthew 12:33-37).  Every word I speak is a choice so I don't have an excuse.

........       Refuse to use “corrupt” speech.  And not just four-letter words, but words that wound, discourage, or tear down.

........       Commit to using “good” words. – Kind and gracious words that build up and encourage (especially to Tom, my children and grandchildren.)

  ........   Focus on the positive, not the negative.  And find something positive to begin and end my conversation.

  .........    Not waste time talking about things that can’t be changed or things that I am not a part of the solution.

   ........ Ask questions.  Find out more about the other person and their feelings.  Don’t focus on myself.

   .........  Withhold a comment when it is the most gracious thing to say is nothing.  Exercise self-control.

........To constantly check my heart.  My words reflect my attitude and motivations.  Ungracious words reveal an ungracious spirit. 
Matthew 12:34-36 - " can ye, being evil, speak good things?  for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things:  and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things..  But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Our Haley Has Lost Her First Tooth ~

Our little Haley Grace has lost her first tooth.  She asked her Mommy, "Does this mean I'm growing up?"  Yep..and way too fast.  Love that little snaggle-toothed girl.

Our Last Mother's Day at RRBC ~

Our men did a wonderful job of preparing and serving breakfast to our Mothers on Mother's Day.  The fellowship hall was decorated with white table cloths, pretty runners and beautiful roses.  Our men were stationed at the buffet table, coffee station and cold drink station.  In addition to delicious breakfast casseroles, fruit, pastries and croissants, they served hot waffles straight from the griddle.  After all the Mothers were served the men joined us in enjoying this scrumptious feast.  This was our last Mother's Day at RRBC and what a special one it was.  Two of our sweet African families came dressed in their national costumes  and we just had to have a picture.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Heaven Is So Much Sweeter ~

Remembering My Wonderful Mother

I grew up in the home of a very violent, abusive, alcoholic father.  There were very dark days in our home as I grew up.  But there was one constant ray of sunshine - - and that was my sweet Mother.  She married out of God's will and paid for her mistake for 17 years.  She did what she could to make a loving, happy home for my brother and me.  My father left us when I was 16 years old and as difficult as it was for her to provide for us she worked hard and eventually became the assistant manager of a large company, loved and respected by her colleagues.  As my brother and I married and grandchildren came along she found her greatest joy in "family".   Family was her life.  Her walls were covered with pictures of children and grandchildren.    For 12 years she was an intricate part of the church that Tom planted in our hometown of Memphis,TN.  We had a large military ministry in the church and Mother was a Mom to many of our servicemen.  She also served as our church hostess and her sweet smile greeted many guests during those 12 years.  For the last few years of her life she was very sick and I traveled back and forth from Germany to the states to be with her and to help with her care.  The one thing I asked of the Lord was to please let me be with her when she passed away.  That was not to be God's will. The call came early in the morning on Sunday, December 11, 1999.  She was already in heaven.  We took the first plane out the next day.   A few months after she died the Lord woke me one night and gave me the words to this poem in her honor.  I love you, Mother, and I miss you every day.


She worked hard. She was alone.
Two growing kids. A meager little home.

Unconditional love, sacrificial love,
Believe the best love. It will be alright love.
Come on home love.

The dirty dish. The clothes on the floor.
The unmade bed. They didn't matter
There was always more.

Her walls told the story.
Grandkids, the new husband or wife.
Pictures galore. Family was her life.

My greatest regret, I couldn't be there
To say my last "I love you".
To say how much I cared.

Unconditional love, sacrificial love,
Believe the best love.  It will be alright love.
Come on home love.

It won't be long, Mother, and we will all be home together.  We love you and miss you, but until then there will always be love.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

6 Leadership Lessons Learned From Criticism ~

I don't know about you but I don't like criticism. It hurts! And I don't like pain. But the truth of the matter is we should listen to our critics. Even when criticism is unmerited there is usually enough truth in it that we can learn from it. Here is some good advise I read recently concerning learning from our critics.

 1. Not all personal criticism is personal. I know. My statement sounds contradictory. Many personal attacks take place because the critic is having his or her own problems. I once spoke with a vociferous critic on the phone who said some pretty terrible things to me and about me. Though I was restrained, I hung up the phone pretty mad. For some reason, I called him back just a few minutes later. I told him that I should have prayed for him, and that I wanted to apologize for being insensitive. He began to weep, telling me that his adult daughter was killed in an auto accident just two weeks earlier. Everyone has needs and problems, even our critics. Maybe sometimes we really need to listen to them. A quick, emotional response usually backfires. I do better to say less than more. When I speak quickly to the critic, it usually is an emotional response that I regret later. I'm learning to keep quiet. It's tough.

 2. Criticism helps me to become a better person and a better leader. Sometimes the remarks make me look in the mirror, and I don't always like what I see. I have also learned that I'm not helped at all if everyone agrees with me on all that I say and do. Critics help refine me as a leader. They help me to be a better person, though the process is always painful.

3. Criticism helps me to think twice before I criticize others. I know the pain of criticism. I know the hurt that comes when a critic comes after me with an unfounded accusation. If I don't like that pain, why should I inflict it on others? I recently spoke with a pastor who was lamenting the level of criticism he receives. But this pastor has a blog that is inevitably critical of someone almost every time he writes. He does not see the inconsistency in his behavior and the way he would like to be treated.

 4. "Consider the source" is a good guideline. I have learned that some people are just negative. They seem stuck in that one disposition. They skip the reading of Philippians 4 because the text mandates we "rejoice in the Lord." Some critics should be heard. Many should not.

 5. Criticism can lead us to greater depths of prayer. Criticism hurts me. Sometimes the pain is more than I can handle, so I turn it over to my Lord to handle it for me. I wish I did that all the time. Sometimes the criticism is extremely painful and just what I needed. It drives me to pray even more fervently.

 6. Sometimes the critic is right. Yes, it's painful to be criticized. But on more occasions than I'm comfortable admitting, I've had the additional pain of learning that I indeed needed correction. The Bible is straightforward about it: "Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. Proverbs 12:1. Call me stupid. Criticism hurts, but it can be for our benefit. The critic can be right. God, give me the discernment to know when to listen to my critic so that I might truly learn and change.~~~~

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, My Love ~

Tomorrow, May 9, my sweetheart will celebrate his 72nd birthday. It has been my privilege to share forty nine of those with him. I am so thankful that he is my husband, sweetheart and friend. Although he is now in what is commonly called "the golden years" he stills has as much - if not more - passion for life than ever. I honestly have a hard time keeping up with him at times. Humanly speaking I suppose I know him better than anyone. I know his strengths, his weaknesses, his loves, his dreams, his disappointments, his joys, his sorrows and I can truthfully say that he is the most dedicated Christian I know. There have been very, very few days in 50 years that I have not seen him in his Bible. He personally prays with me every day and I know he has his own prayer time each day. He is a loving husband and father, loyal friend and caring, compassionate Pastor. He loves people and never meets a stranger. He has a generous and giving heart. He is a powerful preacher and although I have heard some of his sermons a kazillion times, I am always blessed by his preaching - as are many others. But I know him best as husband, father and grandfather. Mark and Dawn are both adults now with sweet families of their own but they have one of the finest fathers in all the world. He has loved them with a constant and unconditional love and has been proud, present and supportive in every area of their lives from kindergarten field trips to teenage school activities, basketball and cheerleading schedules, to college accomplishments, and even failures, and now to their adult callings and accomplishments. He was and is the spiritual leader of our home. He led our children to love and serve the Lord by teaching and example. He is a proud Opa and loves our Emily Joy, Bradley Thomas, Madison Nicole and Haley Grace and prays for them every day. AND FINALLY.......he is THE most wonderful husband in the world. There has never been a day in 49 years that I have not felt loved, special and cherished. I have never doubted his love, his faithfulness or his loyalty. He is the consummate southern gentleman and has never forgotten a birthday or anniversary (well maybe ONE time - and he still has not gotten over it (-:) I am truly blessed! And I wish my sweetheart A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love you, Tom.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

!0 Ways To Give Thanks ~

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High” (Psalm 92:1).Let’s do a “good thing” and give thanks! Here are ten ways suggested by Terri Chappell that we can make giving thanks a part of our lives. 

  1. Blessing Basket ~ Prepare a basket containing paper and pens. Throughout the month encourage family members to write down what they are thankful for in their life. Then on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day,etc. read them all together and give God thanks! 

  2. Thank You Chart ~ Make a chart with each family member’s name. Every time someone is “thanked,” they put a sticker next to the person’s name who thanked them. 

  3. Thanksgiving Chain ~ Have strips of construction paper and tape available. Family members write down what they are thankful for on strips of paper and tape them together to make a chain. See how long your chain gets before Christmas Day. 

  4. Sing Praises to the Lord ~ Sing songs with the word “thank” or “thanksgiving” in them (Psalm 100:1–6). 

  5. Thankful in All Things ~ Tell stories of people who have expressed gratitude in unwanted circumstances. For example, Corrie Ten Boom was thankful for fleas that infested her barracks, and later realized it was the fleas that kept the guards away.

  6. ABCs of Thanksgiving ~ Using the alphabet, go around the room and the first person says what he is thankful for, beginning with the letter A. Continue with the next person saying what they are thankful for beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. 

  7. Journal It ~ Provide every family member a blank journal. Pass the journal around the room, and let everyone write a note to the journal’s owner expressing thanks for that person. Continue to pass the journal around until everyone has had the opportunity to write in it. 

  8. Place Setting ~ Prepare an “assignment” on a leaf for each person to complete at the table. For example: pray for the meal, share a Thanksgiving memory, read Psalm 100, share a testimony, etc. 

  9. Tree-Mendously Thankful ~ Make a large paper tree. Mount the tree, and put paper ornaments nearby. Family members can write things they are thankful for on the ornaments and place them on the tree.

  10. Scripture Round Robin ~ Go around the room and have each family member quote or read a verse about giving thanks

A Church Family Outing - Rhein River Cruise ~

Twenty nine Rhein River Baptist Church adults, teens and children traveled to Rudesheim, Germany, on Saturday, May 5th to board a beautiful passenger boat for a two hour ride up to St. Goarhausen. The view was spectacular as we drifted by beautiful village after village, castle after castle and vineyard after vineyard. We spent three hours in the little village of Rudesheim, shopping, drinking coffee and eating lunch. Everyone had a great time in spite of the rain that fell all day long. One of our men thanked the Lord for the weather in a testimony in church today. He thought it made the trip better. Well???? But you have to love that attitude, don't you! At St. Goarhausen we took the thirty minute train ride back to Rudesheim. The kids (and adults) loved that. Some had never ridden a train before. It was a special day of fellowship and making memories.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Emily Is Officially a Junior !

Finals are over, grades are goods, and Emily is officially a junior at the Crown College of the Bible. She is an excellent student and we are so proud of her. But most importantly, she loves the Lord and wants to serve Him. Congratulations, Emmy. We love you.

Happy Birthday To Our Maddy Cakes !

Our little Madison Nicole Moss is eleven years old today. We call her "Sunshine" because she brightens up any room when she comes in. She is a loving, kind, caring little girl - she certainly makes her Opa and Oma (Tom and me) always feel special. She writes us sweet notes and wants to spend time with us when we are home. She loves spending the night with us, and we love having her. She is learning to play the piano, she loves to sing, play softball and any kind of competition. She loves the Lord, her Mommy and Daddy, her brother, her sister, her church, her Bible and she has even won her first soul to Christ. Happy birthday, sweet Maddy. We love you so very much!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our Last Military Family ~

This is the Deverse family - our last military family at Rhein River Baptist Church. We have a few military contractors left, but Joshua, Lorien, Ethan, Shamus, Giovanni and Isabella will be the last army family left. Joshua and Lorien have been faithful, loyal, supportive, dedicated members of Rhein River. They are a precious family that God has and is going to use. They will be leaving the third week of May and they will then be part of the history of RRBC.

Saying Goodbye to Beloved Co-laborers ~ The Simensens ~

It has been such a pleasure having Bro. Larry and Phyllis Simensen on staff with us at Rhein River Baptist Church for the past eleven years. They have been not only faithful staff missionaries, but they are beloved friends. Bro. Larry could teach a class on loyalty and faithfulness. He has been such an invaluable help to Tom, taking on every responsibility with a 'can do' attitude. Phyllis has such a sweet and kind spirit and is a joy, and lots of fun, to work with. We are so happy that they are going to Wiesbaden to work with Mark and Julie. We love you Bro. Larry and Phyllis.

The Transition Is In Progress ~ Introducing the Clark Family

THREE MORE MONTHS! I can not believe that in just three months we will be leaving our beloved Rhein River Baptist Church and returning to America to begin the new phase of our ministry to the U.S. military. We are so thankful that we will be able to leave a vibrant independent Baptist International Church. We have only two military families in the church now and one of these is moving to Wiesbaden, Germany this week. (Praise the Lord they will become a part of Grace Baptist Church where Mark and Julie are serving.) We love our precious international people and we would be happy to stay and minister to them, but God has called us to work with the U.S.military and we must obey that call. If all goes as planned the new pastor of Rhein River Baptist Church will be Bro. Walter Clark. Bro. Clark attended Rhein River about 18 years ago while doing army reserve training here in Germany. He gives the testimony that he was challenged to consider missionary service while attending RRBC. He has a lovely family. He and his wife, Dalene, have five sweet children. The Clarks have served as assistant pastor in German works in Wittenberg and Dresdin for almost 10 years. They have a wonderful testimony for the Lord and our people love them. Bro. Clark is currently serving as our director of German ministries. He will assume the pastorate when we leave on July 29. This is a picture of the Clarks and Tom and me on an outing we had at Luisen Park in Mannheim, Germany. Please pray for the Clarks.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


For most of the twenty years we have been at Rhein River Baptist Church we have had a musical progam for our children. We began in the beginning with "The Melodee Club", using mostly Ron Hamilton's Patch the Pirate songs. After a few years we decided to officially begin A Patch Club, not only using The Patch music but also the entire Patch the Pirate program. The program has been a tremendous blessing not only to our children, but to our congregation as well. The kids performances once or twice a month are highly anticipated. We praise the Lord for the hundreds of children who have come through our Melodee and Patch Clubs and for the many great directors that we have had over the years.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I am crazy about Cracker Barrel's hashbrown casserole. I came across this copy cat recipe and it is delicious! This recipe serves 10-12. 2 lbs frozen hash browns (thawed), 1/2 cup margarine or 1/2 cup butter, melted, 1 (10 1/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup, 1 pint sour cream, 1/2 cup onion, peeled and chopped, 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Directions: Mix the above ingredients together, place in prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until brown on top. (I put extra cheese on top - WHY NOT????)