Thursday, October 30, 2014

Working Together - Stull Family

This lady and her husband inspire 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 Brenna at her website:    

Saturday, October 25, 2014


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 to see her books at
                                                                                                      Follow me on Twitter    @RitaSGalieh                                                                                               

Monday, October 20, 2014

Alzheimers & True Love

"In sickness and in health..."

Bill Forward has risen to the challenge of caring for Gladys, his wife of fifty years. Alzheimers disease had taken over her life. 

In his own words, Bill says, "I don't count it a burden to look after my wife.  From the moment she wakes up to the time she goes to bed, I take care of her every need."

Out of his concern came the BIKE-CHAIR.

"Several years ago I felt a deep sense of loss as I noticed my wife was losing her ability to walk. We had enjoyed walks by the sea, through parks and beside rivers. Having lived and travelled in Asia I remembered what people had done to bicycles to make food carriers or tri-shaws.

I thought that we could modify a bike to enable us to continue these outings I wanted the passenger seat in front of me so that we could see and talk about the same things together and then as her disability progressed, I would be able to see if she was in some difficulty or another. 

I took the concept to my good friend, Ken, who immediately spotted the problems. With his skill and knowledge we were able to produce the original Bike-Chair. We have developed it further to ensure safety and comfort. We can put the Bike-chair in our box trailer to visit nearby beaches and also on a rack behind our Coaster RV when we travel to enjoy special times It is a wonderfully liberating experience to be able to get out again together and cycle along bike paths everywhere. I get the exercise I need to stay healthy and my wife loves to meet and greet people along the way."

If you know of someone who could be helped, see his website:

What a great story. Thanks Bill for sharing with us.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


My writing friend, Nola Passmore shares her story.

I always thought I’d be married by the time I was 25, but when 1994 rolled around, I was 32 and still single.  Through a series of events, God made it clear that I was to leave my academic job at a university and do some courses with the Christian group Youth With a Mission (YWAM).  I handed my boss a letter of resignation, but he persuaded me to take 20 months leave without pay instead.  It was nice of him, but I wouldn’t be back.  I was about to head off on a grand adventure. 

Although it wasn’t my reason for going to YWAM (really it wasn’t!), it did cross my mind that I might meet ‘Mr Right’ while I was away.  However after 18 months in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, New Zealand, San Diego and Mexico, I returned to my home town still single and ready to recommence my university job.

By then, a Christian staff group had started up at work.  In the lead-up to Orientation Week in 1997, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a Welcome Flyer to let new students know there were Christian staff members in every faculty and section.  We started contacting people we knew to see if they would like to have their names on the flyer.  One woman gushed that it was good to finally ‘come out of the closet’.  Another fellow agreed and said, ‘Why don’t you contact Tim Passmore.  He might be interested.’

I knew who Tim was, as we were in the same Faculty, but I’d never officially met him.  He hadn’t heard of the Christian staff group, but said he would come along the next Friday.  He became a regular attender after that.  I thought he was really nice, but when he rang me a few weeks later to see if I’d like to go for a coffee with him, there was a complication.  I’d just started going out with someone else. 

I suggested he come over the next night as I was having a few friends round to meet the new boyfriend.  Let’s call him Fabio.  Tim agreed to come, but much later told me he felt like a goose.  There were at least two things in his favour though.  One of my friends brought her young children with her and they instantly took a shine to Tim.  I’d also bought a puppy a couple of months before and she decided that Tim’s lap was the best place to catch some ZZZs.

Well, children and animals can tell a lot.  Before long, it was ‘Goodbye Fabio’ and ‘Hello Tim'.          We married the following year and have just
celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. I often
marvel at how I travelled all over the place with
YWAM and then found my husband waiting in my
own backyard, but God had a plan all along.  He
 prompted my boss to offer me leave so that I
would eventually meet the perfect soul mate
He’d already picked out for me.  We’re looking
forward to growing old together … if we can survive the new puppy we’ve just bought. 

Here's a photo of their newest family member I swiped from Facebook. Isn't he adorable?

Nola Passmore is a freelance writer who has had more than 120 short pieces published in various magazines, journals and anthologies (including poetry, devotions, magazine articles, true stories and short fiction).  She and her husband Tim have just started their own freelance writing and editing business called The Write Flourish (  She loves writing about what God has done in her life and encouraging others to do the same.  (Some call it ‘nagging’, but she calls it encouragement).

Thanks so much Nola, Tim, and puppy!       Follow me on Twitter @RitaSGalieh

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Marriage Global Positioning? What is that? Is it something new on the market?

Actually God's GPS has been around for thousands of years. After all, a GPS is simply a guidance system. And that's something we all need in life.

As long as we follow instructions, we can be sure of arriving where we need to be. Even if we make a mistake along the way and miss a turning, the GPS tells us  it's "recalculating," and sure enough it gets us back on track.

Sometimes we can make rash decisions in our marriage relationships, and head down the wrong way. Yet whenever we stop to listen, God will "recalculate" and set us back on the right road. We just need a willing heart to think of the others' needs before our own and to kind to each other.

Life is hectic. Life is confusing. We face so many choices and have to make so many decisions. Yet no matter where we are in life, we only need to keep our ear tuned to our ever-present GPS, or God's Positioning System, the Holy Bible. In it we will find how to keep our marriage strong and fulfilling.

(Actually, I am my husband's GPS when we're driving. I love reading maps and also love reading God's Word. The former gets us to where we're headed and so does the latter...eternally.)

Follow me on Twitter  @RitaSGalieh      God bless You.