Saturday, February 23, 2013

Illegitimate, Abused, but Loved by God

From times of singing in a dark closet to founding a national
women’s mentoring ministry, Thelma Wells' life has been a courageous journey of faith. The name on her birth certificate read simply: Baby Girl Morris. 

Thelma’s mother was a severely deformed teenager with no husband and no place to go, since her own abusive mother insisted that she take the baby and leave the house. So when the baby was born, her unwed teenage mother found work as a maid cleaning “the big house” while living with her baby daughter in servants’ quarters. Eventually, the baby went to live with her great-grandparents, who called her Thelma Louise Smith and loved her dearly. They took little Thelma to church, where she learned to love the hymns and praise songs.

On those occasions when Thelma was taken to her grandparents’ home, her grandmother abused her, just as she had tormented Thelma’s mother. She was locked in a dark, smelly, insect-infested closet until just before her grandfather came home when her grandmother would bring her out of the closet, clean her up, and act as if all was well. 

In spite of her deep fear, little Thelma spent her time in the closet singing every hymn and praise song she could remember. She would sing herself to sleep in that closet, and the Lord received this little girl’s innocent praise and rewarded it with an abundant life of joy, protecting her from feelings of anger or bitterness.

Thelma grew up to become a trailblazer for black women, a prominent international speaker and author, and a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. As a student at North Texas State University in Denton, Texas (now the University of North Texas), she was a member of the first group of girls to integrate the school’s dormitories. She earned her Bachelor’s degree there and eventually received a Master’s of Ministry from Master’s International School of Divinity in Evansville, Indiana. In 2002 she became the school’s first black female professor.

In 1980 Thelma became the first black woman in the South to organize her own international speaking and consulting corporation. Her natural talent for public speaking and storytelling attracted the attention of the Women of Faith Tour, and in 1996 she became the first black core speaker for the organization. She has authored several books, including God Is Not Through With Me Yet, an inspiring examination of her own life experiences in which she encourages readers to “sing in the closets of their lives.” 

She serves as the president of The Daughters of Zion Leadership Mentoring Program, an organization she founded in 2000 (another first for a black woman). Through this ministry, “Mama T,” as she is affectionately called, has mentored over 100 spiritual daughters, received an honorary doctorate degree and was ordained into the Christian Ministry on December 16, 2008, from St. Thomas Christian College and Theological Seminary and the Association of Christian Churches in Jacksonville, Florida. She was also was named Extraordinary Woman of the Year 2008 at Extraordinary Women Conferences an affiliate of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

Thelma has been married to George Wells, her best friend, supporter, and encourager, for over 45 years. The couple lives in Dallas, Texas, and has three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Visit Thelma’s website at

Saturday, February 16, 2013


This lady inspires me.

Brenna Stull is a pastor's wife and mother to five young children. She is a professional home organizer and the creator of an eight-week home efficiency course designed to help women live a balanced life.  

Passionate and transparent, she is a popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats and Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meetings. 

Brenna and her husband Chris speak on marriage enrichment at couple's retreats. She enjoys leading worship for conferences alongside her triplet brother and sister, Trent and Tamara. Brenna and her family live in McKinney, Texas.

Chris Stull graduated with an undergraduate degree in math/computer science in 1986 from the University of Oklahoma and went on to receive his MBA with an emphasis in finance.  

From 1990 to 1998 he worked with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as the State Director for Arizona.  Chris then accepted a position at North Phoenix Baptist Church as the Minister to Young Married Adults as then Executive Pastor.  In 2002 he was asked to move to McKinney, Texas to serve as Executive Pastor of First Baptist Church of McKinney where he is today. 

You can follow Brenda at her website:  

Friday, February 8, 2013


Dr Steve Stephens was the oldest of six kids. He grew up in the suburbs south of Portland, Oregon and had a positive, though far from perfect, childhood. His parents were hard-working people who were committed to their children. Early in his life, Steve developed a deep curiosity in how people think and relate to each other. 

In 1984 Steve married his sweetheart, Tami. Was theirs a perfect marriage? They both say, like any marriage, they have had their ups and downs, but they are both truly committed to each other just like their parents (Tami's were married 49 years and Steve's were married 53 years). In 1988 Brittany was born, in 1990 Dylan, and in 1993 Dusty. Steve and his family love to laugh, play, explore, travel, ride bikes and watch movies together.

Since 1984 Dr. Steve has practiced as a licensed Psychologist specializing in marriage, family, stress, depression, trauma and life-adjustment issues. He also acts as a life coach to people of all ages and professions. Dr. Steve is a popular seminar speaker who has spoken to business, non-profit, professional and church groups throughout the country. For five years Dr. Steve hosted an hour-long live call-in radio talk show which ran five days a week throughout Southern Washington and Northern Oregon. He has currently written over 20 books with over a million copies sold including Worn-Out Woman and the popular List to Live By series. He is co-founder of Every Marriage Matters, Inc. He has also been on the leadership team of his local church for the past 15 years.
Dr. Steve loves life and encouraging others. He also loves learning and having fun. But most of all he loves God, Tami and his three kids. 

Visit Dr. Steve’s website at

Sunday, February 3, 2013


The family with Ken and Daphne celebrating a special birthday
The doctor looked so serious 

as he approached my bedside. “What's up Doc?” I asked. He replied, “Ken, my boy, I'm afraid it is hepatitis and you will need to postpone your wedding.” “Oh no! For how long?”  “probably six months as you will need to be here for three and then there will be the travel arrangements...”

I lay back on the pillows too tired and weak to do more than ask for time to think about it. My fiancee, Daphne, had all the arrangements for our wedding in Brisbane well under way. After ten days which are blank in my mind, the doctor again advised me to send a telegram postponing our wedding. I calculated the dates and realised that I had five weeks to the alter. Crying to God for help I began to complain, “Lord I can't believe that you have kept us apart for over two years, only to now be faced with further separation.”  Yet that same day the local missionary brought me his portable short-wave radio tuned in to the Far East Broadcast Company in The Philippines. The first program started with the old hymn “Be still my soul, the Lord is on your side” It was like the voice of the Lord speaking to my heart.

Soon after I opened twelve letters from Daphne  held up in a strike. The last one said, “Honey, I've sent out half of the wedding invitations but with this strike I don't know what's happening. So, I'm going ahead in faith and I'm sending out the rest of the invitations, trusting God to bring you home in time.”  My decision was easy; if Daphne could trust God to bring me home in time then I could trust Him to give me the strength to fly home to Australia and into the arms of the woman I loved. And He did.

Ken continues:

After Christian service together in Zambia we returned to Australia and spent many years in Church leadership on the home front. Then twenty years in business life demonstrated that the God who is able to see us through the difficulties in Christian service is equally able to meet our needs in the business world.  Testings will always come but the rich experiences of trusting God through the difficult times have proved that He “will never leave us nor forsake us, so that we may confidently say that the Lord is my helper I will not fear...”

Thanks Ken for sharing your personal experiences  of the Lord's faithfulness in your lives.