I fell in love with the evangelist in the pea green suit.

About 35 years ago I met a young man at a church baseball game who had recently accepted Christ. My girlfriends beside me whispered (don't you think Ken is kind of cute?).  My response was something like, "Yeah, he's OK," trying to pretend I had not noticed.  Later my father (also my pastor) invited this young man to preach a youth revival at our church. When he walked in the first night in a vested pea green suit, my first thought was that he wasn't going to go too far unless someone helped him in the clothing department! Thus began my wardrobe ministry to the man I would marry a few years later.

Ken and I attended the same college and he often gave me a ride home during breaks. It was an eight hour drive from Chattanooga, TN to Poplar Bluff, MO. On those long drives we talked about everything from politics to music to theology. I had struggled for some time with assurance of salvation. It was because of our discussions and Ken's patience and scriptural knowledge that I finally came to realize that I could not earn (or keep) my salvation by my own efforts; I came to understand that my salvation did not depend on my own ability or goodness -- but instead on the infinite ability and goodness of God.  

Since that time I have spent countless hours listening to my husband teach and preach. I have heard some of his sermon series multiple times and, strange as it may sound, I still laugh and cry at the same stories; still find myself encouraged or convicted at the conclusion. The primary reason for this, of course, is the Word of God itself - which he exposits verse by verse, book by book. Doing so, he says, will ensure that he preaches "the whole counsel of God" not simply his favorite texts or subjects. Secondly, Ken preaches today with the same passion and zeal he had as a 20 yr old, only with the increased knowledge and wisdom that comes with growing in grace and walking with God through the journey of life.

God took a rough hewn hillbilly from the Missouri Ozarks, and because he was willing and obedient, gently whittled away on the rough edges of his character and abilities, making a multi-functional took to serve His church and the Kingdom. The Lord brought him from the saw mill to the academy in order to use him in a larger way than would have been possible otherwise. My husband has never been satisfied with the status quo. He has always sought to run the race with excellence, pressing "toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

I am honored and blessed that God united us in marriage and ministry 31 years ago. My prayer is that we will be vessels fit and useful for His service as long as he gives us breath.

I married Ken Keathley on May 31, 1980 and have two grown children. Ken and I are both from southeast Missouri.  I am a PK (preacher’s kid) and a PW (preacher/professor wife).  We came to SEBTS in 1994 for Ken to get his M.Div. and Ph.D.; sold our house and possessions and came here when our kids were 6 and 8. In December 2010 I left work to give more time to duties at home as grandmother and as wife of the Sr VP of Academics at SEBTS.  I believe God has gifted me in the areas of administration, hospitality and helps - and I get great satisfaction from using those gifts at home, at church and at SEBTS. I am a country girl at heart and enjoy working in my yard, gardening – both vegetable and flower, a walk in the woods, a swim in the creek, and a cup of tea or coffee on the front porch with good conversation.  Throw in some piano or guitar playing and hymn singing and I’m in heaven (well, almost)! I enjoy cooking for family and friends and am always trying new recipes (I have a unquenchable sweet tooth); shopping at flea markets and consignment stores; reading and watching movies – old and new; and traveling with my husband.

Women's Self-Defense Day

Pow! On March 17th we will welcome Nathan Brown for a two hour class on self-defense. This class will be for students, wives of students, and staff/ faculty of Southeastern. On Ladies Self Defense Day, we will discuss crime statistics; practice some basic self-defense techniques and learn how to avoid dangerous situations, vulnerable attack points and how to be aware of your surroundings (i.e., robbery, carjacking, rape prevention). Instructor, Nathan Brown is a 2nd year seminary student and a 5th degree black belt in traditional karate. Prepare to be prepared! 
March 17th from 10:00-noon in Ledford.

When:March 17th from 10am-noon
Where:Ledford Gymnasium
Who:All SEBTS ladies (student, spouse, staff).
Register:Call or E-mail the Women’s Life Office to register by March 9th.
Cost:Free to all SEBTS ladies...until we run out of space!
*Wear modest, comfortable clothes and bring water! No childcare.
Reblogged from "girltalk" a blog by Carolyn Mahaney
by Nicole Whitacre

Each year we make New Year's resolutions for things we want to change, but we also have New Year's hopes for things we can't change, but wish we could. We long to receive certain desires of our heart that seem elusively out of reach. And maybe, just maybe, we will see those hopes fulfilled this year.
When I was single, I hoped for a husband. Maybe this year, he will come. I imagined myself married by the following New Year, or at least engaged. Maybe the New Year was holding my future husband in the wings.

God eventually gave me an amazing husband, but new hopes still sprang up with each New Year's Day. When we lived in a teeny apartment, I wanted to move to a bigger place. When I experienced secondary infertility, I wanted to have another child. Maybe this year.

I'm sure you have hopes for this year. They are probably whatever you are thinking about right now. But in her book, Keep A Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliot encourages us to focus on the most important of New Year's hopes:

“Will the young woman find a mate? Will the couple have a child? Maybe this year will be the year of desire fulfilled. Perhaps, on the other hand, it will be the year of desire radically transformed, the year of finding, as we have perhaps not yet truly found, Christ to be the All-Sufficient One, Christ the ‘deep sweet well of Love’” (page 49, emphasis mine).

This year, let us ask God to dissolve all our hopes (however good they may be!) into a single hope: to know Christ and to be found in Him. May this be a year of desire radically transformed, a deeper, truer, knowing of Christ as our All-Sufficient One.

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7-8a).

20 Questions for Reflecting on Your 2011

Reblogged from (in)courage  
December 30, 2011

A whole year has passed since the last one. You’re a year older. Are you a year wiser?
Below are 20 questions I use each year as a springboard to reflect on the past 365 days. Use these Reflection Questions however you see fit over the next few days. Feel free to think over these throughout your day. But if you’d like to be a bit more intentional with them, every year I provide a free PDF download over on Simple Mom—head over there to download the document, fresh off the press.

Want to answer these questions solo? Grab a cup of coffee and a pen, and use the space provided on the first three pages of the free download.

Want to chat over the answers with your spouse or with friends? Use the last page of the PDF to cut each question into squares, and then toss them in a hat to draw, one at a time.

In early January, I’ll share another round of questions (and another PDF) on Simple Mom. This time, they’ll be to help plan your goals for 2012. What are your plans? Your hopes? What would you like to happen for you personally, for your children, for your family? I like what Dave Ramsey says—“A goal without a plan is just a dream.”

20 Questions for a New Year’s Reflection


1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
5. Pick three words to describe 2011.

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2011 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2011 (again, without asking).

8. What were the best books you read this year?

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2011 for you.

Tsh Oxenreider is the author of Organized Simplicity, and writes about living simply at Simple Mom. She is currently "in between" countries with her husband, Kyle, and kids Tate, Reed, and Finn, having just moved back from the Middle East before heading off to their next adventure (her 6-year-old has been on 49 airplanes and counting). Her blog was nominated for Best New Blog of 2008, and has been mentioned on Apartment Therapy, HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Food Network, and more. In early 2010 she founded the network Simple Living Media, home to five blogs about simple living. Her passion is to encourage all walks of women to find peace wherever God has them and to cultivate joy about blooming where they're planted. She also loves coffee, and she hates wearing socks.