Meet Renee…

Meet Renee and her husband Jasen.  Like you really need introduced to these two!  222730_10150165171362175_5931977_n[2]They are all over the church and LOVE to meet and greet everyone, especially new people visiting the church…that’s just one reason I love them so…and I know it’s one of yours too!  420039_10150580580152175_804407324_n[1]They do it so well too!  You know why?  They are genuine!  If I had to pick just one word to describe this couple…((which is very hard to do by the way)) it would be genuine.

I asked Renee what she could tell us about her family…this is what she said  “I married Jasen Oliver February 14,1997…Yes ladies, That’s right, Valentines Day! I am a sucker for Chocolate, Teddy Bears, and Romance!!  🙂 We have four kids: Justin is 22 and he just moved to Boston for Grad school. 😦  Ashleigh is 20 and is a nursing Student at UCA. Maddie is 15 and will be starting her first year at Abundant Life, and Kenzie is 13 and is a student at Cabot Junior High!” Yep!  We love them all!

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This is the whole family…well, maybe not all of them!  They wouldn’t fit into a picture if we tried.

Hey Renee, what do you like to do in your spare time? “I enjoy Scrap booking when I have time…..which never happens anymore…..but
one day!!!  lol  I also LOVE to decorate !!! I enjoy spending time with Family
and Friends!!! They mean EVERYTHING TO ME!!!  :)”

303752_10150354889557267_645534140_n[1]I asked Renee how she landed at ThatChurch and here is her story, “We moved her from Pennsylvania, (yes, don’t hate…..I’m a Yankee) four years ago. We live in Cabot and tried every church there and just couldn’t find a church that we all agreed on and liked. As God would Have it, The bus missed our stop the first day of school. We offered to drive the kids at our bus stop to school. The parents walked down to thank us that night, and the mom was wearing a Mercy’s Cross shirt. 312281_2693506782516_1299773612_n[1]I asked her about the church and she invited us and later walked down a worship guide with the service times on it. From that day on, Mike and Liz Morgan have been some of our BEST FRANDS!!!!  🙂 (spell it just like that)  🙂 We have been here EVER since and I know this is EXACTLY where God wants us to be! :)”

AMEN!  Thank YOU Mike and Liz, we are glad you invited this family!

Renee, what ministries are you involved in? “I lead the Women’s Ministry along with Andi Leslie. Several of us started this Ministry 3 years ago. I have such a deep love of encouraging other women in their spiritual journey!!!! God created us to be Connectors as Women, and Nothing makes me more joyful to see ladies Connecting and growing spiritually! I also do the Finances at That Church, so I also lead the Counting team! I love this group of people because they are so faithful in doing work ‘behind the Scenes’. They rarely get recognized, but are here to serve God!”
283613_10151421154932175_1282712037_n[1]Oh Renee!  I believe you do so much more…she’s so humble…
Renee is apart of our church staff.  Those crazy people!  Just kidding.  I know first hand the work, dedication , heart & soul, sweat & tears, and much prayer they do and that is just one day in the life of our staff!
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She serves….
999974_689636011062180_589532672_n[1]She serves….
250941_10150201017462175_5989115_n[1]She serves….
230775_2053786026658_6621045_n[1]And she serves some more….you get the point.  Renee’s love to serve and it show on her face and in her attitude.  She is always smiling and never says anything but kind words.  That’s huge!  Like I said, genuine!  No masks with Renee…she is who she is and that’s lovely!  SO thankful to be able to serve alongside of her!
534391_10151079699803403_189941053_n[1]Renee loves the women’s ministry, it is one of her top passions too.  She start this with just an idea…a few select women and here we are!  Building teams and growing.  Thanks Renee!  Thank you for your passion to serve women and your hard work to get it done!
417927_10151598711612326_1045578103_n[1]Always doing something for the women…conferences…
216370_10150159619147175_4382293_n[2]More conferences….
65194_10200426473975659_1441850193_nAnd more….I will not mention the conference in Oklahoma and every day that the tornado sirens went off especially the one in the middle of the night and everyone had to sit it out in the lobby of the hotel.  Well, NOT everyone…you see, Dawn Davis and I were sleeping away, and we did not hear one thing…NOR did they COME AND GET US!!! But I won’t mention that conference.  Ha Ha!
150310_4843055002778_812312417_nAnd more…
Hey do those books say BAD GIRLS!  Oh how this fits.  Did I type that out loud? Oppps….sorry! 🙂
560789_3675782609228_1064912344_n[1]Renee and Stacey Harness, our first lady of ThatChurch share a birthday…isn’t that a small world…here is their last birthday party.
Awe friends and staffers…with huge hearts!  Love it.
540232_3675762008713_1597097083_n[1]Why in the world does that cake say 40 something??? Renee is 29!  That’s her story and she’s sticking to it…now change that number for next year…29 and each year after too!  I got your back Renee!
254051_110660419026065_2324396_n[1]One of the first prayer request she asked me to pray for was one for her daughter Ashleigh. ((Hope you don’t mind me sharing that!))  We prayed and prayed some more.  It was Renee’s BIG ASK!  Well, I share this because Renee allowed me to pull pictures from her facebook page for this post…and I found these…an answer to a big ask, I had to share…
Just one BIG ASK…answered!  Love it!  Thanks Renee for asking me to join that ask!  Oh gosh, I am tearing up as I type this…hold on, I will be right back to finish…just enjoy the pictures while I wipe my eyes.  LOVE you Ashleigh! 🙂
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303847_10150372676157175_1594710586_n[1]Renee is a beautiful person inside and out.  She always has a smile…and has many talents and gifts.  Connect and loving on people is just one.  Like I mentioned in the top of the post, she is genuine…and that is a rare gem in a friend.
So if you have not met her yet…go introduce yourself.  Or she will get to you in a few days, she never likes to miss someone…tell her that you read her story on the blog, hug her neck…and you will have a friend and sister for life.  Look at that smile…she wears it all the time.  Thanks Renee!  We ALL love you!
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Meet Barbara…

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Meet Barbara Rainey, her husband Rick along with her daughter Robin and two grand children!

Tell me a little bit about your family Barbara.

430551_311871672253891_236456831_n“I am married to Rick Rainey, 42 years. We have one Daughter, Robin Gann, married to Scott Gann, two Grand kids, Dustin and Mary Gann. The Gann family also attends ThatChurch. I have lived in this area since I was 9 years old. Grew up in Park Hill and Rick was my high school boyfriend. We got married as soon as I graduated high school.”

42 years, that is wonderful!

Tell us how you came to Thatchurch…

“In the fall of 2008, I was at a real bad place in my life and marriage, I realized that I desperately needed a church family, Robin  told me I would love her church, then known as “Mercys Cross”, so I visited with much apprehension. But I knew the first time I visited that it was the place for me.”  We are sure glad too!

Let everyone know the ministries you are involved in…

“I am on the Guest Services team, serving at the 8:30 service, and have been a small group leader several times.”

Oh!  I think she left off something here.  You see, Barbara is always serving!  Look at all these pictures:

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And always has a wonderful smile on her face too!  Barbara is a lady with a huge heart that loves the Lord and her church family.

Tell us what the Women’s Ministry team means to you…

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“It’s a great chance to get to know ladies in the church… and surprise, many of them are just like me, and have challenges and difficulties far worse than mine, and I see how strong they are. I see a lot of role models in the Womens’ Ministry. Ladies of all ages, from every walk of life. We really need to connect with each other!”

What kind words…we love this too!

What would you like us to add to the ministry?

“I would like to see us do some sort of little outreach or invitation packets to ladies that are new to the church. Maybe something that could be kept at the info desk, (even if its only a flyer) and when we meet a woman who does not know much about us, we can just grab that and give it to her. It could have an upcoming schedule, explain what Soul Sisters are (I get asked that so much when they see the gifts at the table). Some ladies have been attending a long time and have never participated in any W/M events, they don’t know how fun it is, or what to expect.”

That is a wonderful idea….Renee and Andi, we have an idea here!

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Don’t let her fool ya, she plays around too!

Grant, you look scared!  Bahahahaha!

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And another!  So cute ladies! 🙂

People should not tell me I can pull pictures off Facebook! 🙂  I have the best time.

383323_2524642168763_1572135159_nThen I found this one…it is my favorite.

As you see, Barbara loves God, her family and her extended family at ThatChurch!  You’ll know that once you meet her!  Go say Hi to her!  You will have a friend for life!

I asked her what else she wanted to share with us and this is what she said,

“All that I can say is how much I love being a part of ThatChurch and love my church family! Getting to know others who are walking with Christ or just discovering Him is very rewarding. It has helped me so much in dealing with my challenges and changing my perspective and my life too! Our Christian walk is very much like a garden that needs constant maintenance, weeding and watering. I sure get that now. I have learned to look to Jesus to feel whole, wanted and loved.” That is Barbara!

Thanks Barbara!

Meet Pam…

387366_10150440312056343_1962843202_nMeet Pam.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Pam about being featured on Meet-Me-Monday’s.  She said she would write something for me…and she did, a poem!

Go Pam!

There once was a gal from Maryland named Pam

Who retired and moved to be near daughter Renee and Cabot to stay.

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I visited often & moved here 2 years ago with gram.

Renee chose my house and God gave it close by her land.

I bought without seeing it—it was part of God’s plan.

I’m in Women’s ministry, E-groups and help out whenever I can.

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But a heart for women goes back 30 some years ago.

I led a study at nursing home, then taught single again women, and seminars spoke

Because I feel strongly that women need other women

Without which they would be spiritually broke.

My duel-edged passions are women and to offer counsel

Both are tools to help give women encouragement and a thirst to grow.

I love both the connectivity and creativity of thosewomen at thatchurch

Because we all need to come down off our high perch

And feel, love and give and leave none out in the lurch.

I love to paint, crochet, cross-stitch, read & write, and travel

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To enjoy God’s best, I bake, cook, grow, and like to learn too.

I love the beach and dogs and gatherings.

Whether living for God, Bible, fiction or other reads anew

All these are spices in my life and hope they will be in yours too.

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She’s a poet too!

Of course when you mention Pam, you have to mention Gram.  What a sweet lady!

Pam and Gram are two of my favorite people to meet and hug in the crossing.  It’s not a Sunday without it.

I can say with great pleasure that Pam is my friend.  You will have to find her and gram and introduce yourself…if you haven’t already.  They will make great friends to your list of friends.  Tell her you read about her on the blog…she will love it!

Love you Pam!

Meet Debra…

199291_10150107438424760_5527055_nMeet Debra and her husband Nelson! I found out that her and her husband met in an unusual way…here is what she said:

“I have a 19-year-old son (Brandon) who still lives with me. I was married to his dad for 16 years and then divorced in 2008. I met my current husband (Nelson) in 2009 and we got married in 2010. Nelson and I met on Match.com and he was the 3rd guy I went out with. I had no idea that I would actually meet and marry someone I met on this dating website! I was only looking for someone who I could go 544682_10150863203499760_18028829_nto dinner with and maybe a movie but apparently God had different plans for me and I am very thankful for that. We love to go on trips and have been on several cruises which we both love.”

Tell me how you started coming to ThatChurch…

“There were several folks who used to go to Gravel Ridge First Baptist that were now going to That Church, formerly known as Mercy’s Cross and I had heard great things from them about this church. I was looking for a church that my son would enjoy going to. We were going to Baring Cross before I came here and he hated going to church because they were old-fashioned. I have been going to this church now for approximately 6 years.”

And we are certainly glad you are!

224793_2014697213750_3423211_nDebra can always be found serving…

She has a huge heart and is always giving!

What ministries are you involved in Debra?

” I am involved with the Women’s Ministry, Children’s Ministry and the Counting Team Ministry.” Whew…that’s a lot!

Debra is part of the Women’s Ministry leadership team. I asked her what her favorite part of the team is, and here is what she said…540428_10151494752265333_2018531409_n

“I love the fellowship and being able to meet women that I might not otherwise meet. Planning things for this ministry is fun and rewarding and I am thankful for the opportunity that God gave me to serve in this ministry.”

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That is what is all about!

Connecting with other women!

I love it! And so does Debra. Everyone she meets is an instant friend. She is the most caring and genuine person you will meet!

Just ask her friends!

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I asked her just what do these women at ThatChurch mean to you…

“I love having other Christian women that I can share my ups and downs with and know that they are praying for me and my family.

65194_10200426473975659_1441850193_nI think it is important in a marriage to have girl time and I can’t think of a better group of women to spend time with than the women at That Church!”

Yep, that’s Debra!

Tell us a little more about your hobbies and other things Debra…

168134_1654802843036_6068753_n“I am always trying to lose weight and therefore, I spend a lot of time in the gym. I love doing zumba and I walk every morning at 5:30 am with Teresa Smith. I like to read and am a member of the Book Club which I really enjoy.

I also a member of the CanningCanning group and am so thankful that Mary started this group because I love doing stuff like this but didn’t because I don’t like doing it by myself. Having others to do this with is much more fun!” canning II

And fun is what we have! And we make some great things too!

yummies

That is just a little bit about our friend Debra. When you see her, please give her a hug and tell her you got to read a little about her on the blog...if you can find this woman, she serves in so many ministries!

photo (4)P.S. I have to tell you a little Secret Sister story. Many years ago when I (Mary) joined First Baptist of Gravel Ridge, I signed up to have a Secret Sister. I didn’t know anything about it, but just felt I needed to get connected. Debra drew my name. Of course I didn’t know at that time, but Debra was the best secret sister a girl could have. She prayed for me, she left cards and Bible verses just when I needed, and she gave very thoughtful gifts too! You see, it was the start of our friendship and that was well over 10 years ago. I am so thankful to have joined the Secret Sisters that year because you see…I have a lifelong friendship now.

Funny

P.S.S. One day after book club, Renee’s puppy decided to love on Debra…which is all fine if you like big dogs! You see, Debra does NOT! She’s a trooper though…we just laughed and laughed.

((Sorry my friend, had to share this one too!))

Love ya mean it. bahahahahahha still laughing.

Meet Jennifer…

IMG_0444Meet Jennifer.  And her son Charlie.

Jennifer, tell us a little about your family..

“My family is me and Charlie.  We live with my mom, Iris Gabriel, so the three of us are usually together. My brother Luis and his wife Becca and their kids Rhagan and Luis also come to ThatChurch.  I love it when we are all there at the same service.”IMG_4167

Jennifer can be found at almost every event at ThatChurch  She is a great source of encouragement to many people.  You will know her, she is the one who is always smiling.  I have never seen that girl without her smile on!

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Jennifer loves her family and her church family…they are one in the same to her.

Jennifer, when did you start coming to ThatChurch?  “We started coming to ThatChurch when my sister-in-law was invited by a co-worker and it will be 3 years in October.”

We are so thankful that you did!

IMG_3069Jennifer can be found in the Kidz ministry.

Tell us what you do in that Ministry…

“I have taught in the 4-year-old class for the last 2 1/2 years and I really enjoy working with that age group.  Their eyes and hearts are wide open to learn about God.”  I love it!  

What does the Women’s Ministry at ThatChurch mean to you?

“I think the first event I went to was the Fall Harvest, I wanted to meet people and get involved.  The women’s ministry has become a very important place for me because of the friendships I have made.  My favorite part of the women’s ministry has been the relationships that I have made.  I have had the chance to go to OKC twice for conference and it has been life changing.  I have been able to grow closer to God by being around other women that want to grow closer to God.”

I think one of my favorite quotes from Jennifer was this…”The women of ThatChurch are my sisters.  I know that they are praying for me, love me and are there for support and comfort.  They are women that I look to as role models as Christians, moms and wives.”

 Isn’t that the very reason we have this ministry?  I believe so!

Jennifer is so fun to talk with.  She just lights up a room.  I asked her to tell us a little bit about her hobbies, here is what she said…

IMG_3576” I love reading, crafting and being with Charlie. I love to be with friends and family.  I think I am a pretty social person.  I am going to school to be a teacher so I love it when I get to help with VBX. I sell Thirty One Gifts and love bags! My life has changed so much since I came to ThatChurch, I know I am in a better place than I was 3 years ago and grow closer to God each day!”

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Jennifer is a huge part in the Women’s ministry planning team.  We couldn’t do it without her!

As you can see, she loves the Lord and her son Charlie!

Plan to go by and meet this wonderful woman…You will be glad you did.  She is an instant friend to all she meets.

Meet Taylor…

Meet Taylor Grisham.  I recently chatted with Taylor and interviewed this amazing and talented young woman and here is what I found out.

Taylor has been attending ThatChurch now for about 7 years.  She is good friends with Pastor Scott’s niece, Theresa.  They attending high school together and she is actually the one who invited Taylor to visit ThatChurch. ((I am thankful she did too!))

WorshipYou may recognize Taylor as being apart of our praise and worship team.

I asked her what her favorite things about the worship team were…here is what she said…

“I actually grew up singing in church so that’s kind of where my heart has always been! The amount of talent in our team is simply incredible. The growth never ceases to amaze me! I love that as a team we can laugh together, worship together and grow (musically and spiritually) together! I love that my relationship with the band (and tech) isn’t limited to Friday night rehearsals and Sunday morning services. They all have hearts of gold and are constantly encouraging and supportive to each an every one of the other team members!” Worship II

As you can see she is exactly where she needs to be serving!

Taylor is a pleasure to watch too.  She is always smiling and has love and encouragement all over her face when she is worshiping.  I just love our whole worship team!

One thing I know about this young lady is that she is humble and loves the Lord very much…

Taylor has been a very busy lady!  Attending school, serving at church and spending time with family…she has not been too involved in the Women’s ministry YET, but she told me she plans to change that.  She actually did attend the Women of Joy conference.  Anyone who has been, knows that is an experience you will never forget.  ((especially is Tornadoes hit in OK)) Yikes.  Whenever women can attend a conference together and experience new bonds with each other, it is a connection you will never forget.  So, if you have never gone on a conference with the team, you need to try to go!

Taylor loves to read, drink coffee ((think she said addicted to coffee!)) and lover of all things outdoors.  I asked her if there was something she could share with us that not too many people know about her…she said, “My dad and I used to rebuild antique cars when I was growing up–bet you wouldn’t have guessed that one, huh?”Daddy-1

Tell me some more about yourself Taylor, to let people know you a bit more…

Taylor said, “I enjoy cooking, working out, singing, dancing, spending time with the fam and spoiling my sweet nephews! (I never realized how many hobbies I actually had until I started talking!)”

Tell us more about the fam…

Casi

“I’m the baby so that automatically makes me the favorite, right? Haha! Kidding. My sister Casi and her husband Matthew are currently stationed in Ft. Hood where they have been for 2 years now. They have blessed me with 2 charming nephews (Wessyn, 18 mo., Colton, 4 mo.)!  I’m a little partial maybe, but they are the cutest little boys ever!! They get that from me 😉 My sister is my best friend…although, that hasn’t always been the case! We have had the typical sister relationship. She always keeps me laughing and motivated to be better!

Wessyn-1

Colton-1CUTEST

EVER!!

Tell us more..

Taylor mentioned, “My BIL is the best big bro that I never had growing up! My mom, Michelle, is just as sweet as she is sassy! She has a huge heart for serving people and I am so glad that she has raised me to have that same heart. She’s a poor cook and an awful joke teller ((we will not tell her you said so))…but she knows it and what she lacks I make up for so our relationship works out quite well!

My daddy Craig is, hands down, the most selfless man ever. He is retired from the Army after 20 years and currently works full-time as a Police Officer at Sherwood. He is my coach and my biggest fan! He coached me in softball growing up, he has carried me all over the state for singing competitions, and even came to watch me dance in high school. He has taught me everything from how to clean a gun to how to lead others. He and my mom have been married for 27 years and I am so grateful for the example they have set for my sister and I! I could talk all day about my fam…they are blessed to have me hah!!” ((with the biggest smile on her face.))

You can sure tell she LOVES her family.

I asked her what was something she enjoyed about the  Women’s Ministry and she said, “I hope to get involved more now that my schedule has calmed down a little. By a little, I mean a lot! I love that there are women in the women’s ministry that have reached out to me even not having been actively involved throughout this year!”

I can chat with Taylor all day, pleasant young lady.

There’s a little bit of Taylor.  Please be sure to go give her a hug when you see her…she would love to meet you and you will enjoy her too!

Meet Lauren…

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Meet Lauren Suggs.  This is her husband Nehemiah.  They have been married for three years and attending ThatChurch for about a year now.  They just moved to Sherwood about three months ago to be close to work and their church home.

I have the pleasure to sit down and chat with Lauren Sunday.  She is a very sweet lady I am now glad to call friend.

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Lauren grew up in church and mentioned she was really involved in her Youth group.  She said she loved it so much she became a leader once she was a little older.  She led the youth...watch out Pastor Josh, we could have a youth worker on our hands!

th-1Lauren is building her business with her husband…which is also a ministry for her.  She helps others get out of debt.  It is a God-Centered business that she gets to work alongside her husband while helping others.  She refers to it as helping others with their financial wellness. When I asked her more about it, this is what she said, “I’m building a truly rewarding business with my husband. Normally, when we sit down with families they’ve never met anyone like us. Someone with the knowledge, the access, and the resources to the whole world of money, business, and finance. Normally that kind of access has been reserved  for the very wealthy, who can afford to have all of their financial questions answered. What we do is level the playing field so the middle class can have the same access as the wealthy. Because we believe that knowledge coupled with access is true financial power.”  Plus she mentioned, “We both work in our business full-time and are truly passionate about how we are able to help people. We can’t wait to see all that God has in store for our future together! “

When not working with her hubby, Lauren loves to spend time with friends and family.  Remember she just moved to Sherwood…so she could always use some more friends!

th-2The short time I sat with Lauren I found one of her spiritual gifts is encouragement.  She loves to empower and encourage women to be all they can be in Christ.  Lauren says, “Every woman needs to know they were created for a unique purpose in Christ.”

Lauren can be found in guest services greeting all our first time visitors and regulars alike each week…again, with her husband.  This couple was a pleasure to get to know!  You too will be blessed when you meet them also!

I asked Lauren what part of the women’s ministry she enjoyed the most so far.  She said Soul Sisters!  She would make a great soul sister that is for sure!

th-3Lauren looks forward to building relationships with you…the ladies of the church.  So, now that you got a peek into her life, why not stop by and introduce yourself to her and let her know you saw a little of her story on the blog!

Meet Me Monday’s is designed for you to meet a few of your ThatChurch sisters.  We will feature a lady or two each Monday.  Come back and see who we will highlight the next week.

Love y’all!