Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sent AND Received

I have some time as I sit in the MSP airport and I’m already amazed at the faithfulness of God. 
One of the biggest key elements of any mission trip is to be sent. 
Being sent by the church is God’s way of using the body to protect people from getting off His track and on their own track.

There is no real special “formula” but to do missions the way God intends you will be sent.
He works thru the Church – His body.
He isn’t crazy about sending out hands and feet if they aren’t connected to a body.  J

As usual, it’s been a little weird for us, because we have moved and it takes time to build the relationships in a church to be “sent” by a church and fill all their criteria for missions.
Being “sent” often times means being brought before the church so they can see you, hear a little of what you are doing, and pray over you. 
(There is more to it, but this is like the final commissioning step to a mission trip).

I met with our mission’s pastor at our new church in Montana a while back and he was all for us going to Uganda but had no real input as he doesn’t really know anything about us.  I felt like it was a step in the right direction, but not a real “sending” kinda feel.

I was super sure God had put it on my heart to GO, and I had a lot of confirmations and support from family and friends, but still wanted to be
 “sent” and not just Going.
I get a little hung up on the rules sometimes, which I think is why I never quite fit the criteria for the checkboxes.  God keeps me in tune with the heart of the rules vs. being all proud of my box checking.

In the process of planning, I was praying….

Lord, send me.
  I only want to GO if you are the one sending me and the kids.
  I don’t want to go without you and I know you work thru your church, so make me know YOU are sending us and stop me if you aren’t.

Isaiah 6:8 English Standard Version (ESV)

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

As time has gone on I have had confirmations all along the way that we were being
 “sent” AND “received”
 by the Lord thru the Church.
We are connected to the BODY here and there.
We are hemmed in on each end, maybe we are
 knees and elbows rather than hands and feet on this one.

Last night as we were having a family gathering to celebrate our newest GRAND coming in JUNE, we were also gathering to make sure everyone is on board to help each other while I’m away. 
 The kids gathered and Charlie joined us by speaker phone and they all prayed over us. 
I felt overwhelmed with love and blessing.  I felt the comfort of the official 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

All I Want For My Birthday - Your Lunch Money!

It’s my birthday!!! 
I typically want to hide on my birthday.  I don’t know why, but I spend most of my life feeling embarrassed and the birthday attention just adds to it. 
Super stupid, I know. 
Charlie once had a surprise birthday for me and it nearly ruined us.  He was so excited and I was totally mortified (super stupid, I know.)  
I have gotten over my issues a little bit over the last few years, but poor Charlie is scarred for life. 

That being said, I woke up at 4am with this BIRTHDAY BLOG on my mind….

When we go to Uganda we are having a crusade. 
Two ministries that I dearly love CSI - Christ Sanctuary International, and Redeemer House,
 are joining efforts and we are having a crusade, which is the African version of a conference. 
It is free to all who attend and everyone is invited.
 We are going to share the Gospel and enjoy a meal together.

The people will hear about Jesus - the bread of life, and we will break bread together.

John 6:47-50 New Living Translation (NLT)

47 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 Yes, I am the bread of life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50 Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die.
Here is what I want for my birthday.
I want your lunch money.  J

God has made it very clear to me as we are planning this that
He already knows what He is going to do.  

The scripture that has been highlighted in my heart thru the planning process is

John 6:5-6 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?”He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
God is not the lunchroom bully and neither am I, because He already knows what He is going to do and He doesn't need us or our money to do it. He is more like King of the lunchroom (and world) and has invited us to join Him for lunch (and life everlasting.)

If you want to be like the little boy who gave his lunch and got to be a part of what God was doing and witness an amazing miracle because he gave up his lunch, then who am I to not let you in on it. 
I can imagine how that little boy felt when he watched his little lunch feed thousands.

Just for fun, here is one glimpse of what God is already putting together.

This is a picture of  Moses and Eve and their family.
Eve works at Redeemer House and Moses is a baker.  Moses has been crippled since he was 6 years old.  He can not use his legs and yet he works hard for his family.  The picture you see below is where Moses makes bread and lives with his family.
We have asked him to make bread for the crusade, and we want to bless him big for taking this on.
I’ve often wondered how God provided for missions before social media and all the fundraising campaigns (this is me being sarcastic) but this is what I do know,
  God doesn’t need me or you or facebook or anything else….He already knows what He is going to do….but he does provide opportunities to be a part of what He is doing.
 If you want to give your lunch money you can click on either of the links below.
 This link and the link below will take you to
Paypal Donate Button of xHope
which is the ministry that oversees Redeemer House.
 Please just put in the notes that this is your lunch money and we will know it goes towards the crusade.


If you are not familiar with the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 here it is.  Be blessed

John 6 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus Feeds Five Thousand

After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.)Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?”He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”
Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward, he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Felt Like Home

The other night I felt like I was "home" for the first time in a very long time.  Me and Reece, Maezie, and Cellie went to watch Mik play basketball and then headed to a different school to cheer on Luke at a wrestling meet.  I found both schools without a problem, I knew where to park, and had an idea where to sit.  These may seem like little things, but when you end up (multiple times) sitting in the student section of the opposing team you feel so out of place BECAUSE YOU ARE!  I could hear people cheering for my kids and I knew the names of a few of the kids to cheer on as well.  I talked to some other parents and it wasn't just question and answer time for me to understand what I needed to know and them to try to understand who in the world this crazy bunch is.

Kole and Rachel and Jesse and Charsie all got off of work in time to come to the wrestling meet and show support. After the game, I went and picked Esther up from her job.  It was a fun night and it was super timely.  I needed to know things are in a bit of a rhythm before I leave.  I didn't want to leave thinking about how hard it might be for the kids left at home.  It's not that they "need" me so much, as they just need some sort of normal rhythm and familiar territory.
Cellie sometimes has to take a nap in the bleachers.

 Mik left a basketball team that was like a true brotherhood to him, and the wrestling team that Luke left was more like a family than a team. We can never replace what we left in Oregon, but it was fun to see the progress and potential we are feeling in the new.

Lashae and Grands are all coming to hold the fort down and honestly, she will do a better job than me, and the kids will enjoy her and the nieces so much, but I needed to know when they are off at their school and sports they aren't feeling lost or invisible.  I can leave knowing everyone is involved and supported outside of these 4 walls.

As we prepare to leave for Uganda I'm thinking of all that needs to be done and I get a bit overwhelmed, and then I think of all that God has done to get us to this point and I'm overwhelmed with His love and I embrace my weakness, because the more I say, I can't do this, the more I realize my need for Him; He swoops in and shows me that He can, and will do everything that needs doing.

It feels right to finally feel at "home" here, just before I leave to go "home" to Uganda.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Uganda 2019!

Reece and Maezie are my missionary partners this upcoming trip to Uganda.  We are leaving in 13 days!!!  Cellie isn't going, she is keeping the homefront full of Joy and activity right here. This is Maezie's first trip and she couldn't be more excited.  When we decided to homeschool her, this was a dream I had in my heart the whole time but didn't want to say anything until I knew it was God's plan and not mine.  I went thru my usual struggle of battling with fear and I felt like God was AGAIN so gracious and settled my heart and showed me how much He supports and delights in her and He loves her enthusiasm to GO anywhere and everywhere in the name of Jesus.  Maezie is my little prayer warrior and she will see and experience prayer like she has never before.  

This is Reece's 3rd trip to Uganda.  He is so excited and his friends and brothers there are excited and ready to welcome him again. Reece is a little evangelist and we are going to be doing a crusade at Redeemer House and he will get a chance to share whatever the Lord lays on his young and passionate heart.

When I told my Ugandan son, Simon, that this trip was going to look a little different.  I told him I was tired and I needed to just soak in my loved ones there in Uganda and soak in some big doses of Jesus.  I told him the pace was going to be much slower.

His response made me laugh and kicked me into gear.  He said, "Mom, God knew the time you were coming and He has prepared much work for you to do."  This encouraged me like nothing else.  He didn't buy into my little selfish whining and reminded me that every day God has a purpose everywhere we go.  The most restful energizing thing I could ever do is wear myself out for Jesus.

Simon's response got my eyes off of myself and what I needed out of the trip and I began to ask God what He had for me.  I prayed about who would go and when we would go, but I never prayed about WHAT we would do.  I see too many mission trips being all about the WHAT and the DOING that the WHO gets put out of the spotlight, so I didn't even think to ask WHAT HE had for us to DO. 

As soon as I asked if God had something specific for us to DO...thru a series of events and conversations and prayers God downloaded in my heart the thing he had for us to do.  The beautiful thing about what He put into my heart is it is gathering the people and ministries that I love so much and joining them in using the gifts and talents He has given us.  

Psalm 37:3-4 English Standard Version (ESV)

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
  Only God could put the desires of my heart on my heart.  The desires and motives I naturally have, are selfish and self-centered, but once I get my eyes off of myself He put desires on my heart that could only come from Him alone.  And the best part is, He accomplishes it thru us and all we have to do show up and trust in the Lord.  We often interpret this verse that if we give God what He wants, He gives us what we's actually, we give Him our trust and delight in Him and He places desires in our hearts from Him, and then he accomplishes it.  It's so much BETTER than anything we can conjure up in our own hearts.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

I Believe; Help My Unbelief!

Reflections of 2018

This year has been quite MOVING!  We have moved and moved grown kids and friends
 (some of them multiple times) in 2018.

 We have covered a lot of ground and air in 2018!

Jan. - Started out with gaining the BEST DAUGHTER-IN-LAW in the whole wide world.  Yep, sorry world, she is taken and she is mine!  I love this girl and I love the way she loves Jesus and Kole and everyone else so well.

Soon after the wedding, we found out Lashae and Chaney were having twins! 

March - We took a trip to Montana to visit all the grown kids.  Upon much prayer and discussion, it was decided it was time to move to Montana and bring the family closer together
 (if even for a season.)

June 1 - We packed up the family and moved 950 miles away from all we knew. 

July - Charlie went to Uganda to visit our Ugandan family and attend a wedding.  
July 21 we welcomed twins to the GRAND pile, it was a day worth all the moves and adjustments to accomodate and be close to these gorgeous blessings!

August - We had my mom for a visit and got to celebrate her 70th birthday with her. 

Charlie and I got to go on a little get-away with friends to Couer D' Alene, ID.

 Sept  -  Football and Volleyball season and lots of adjustment to new everything. 

Brittany, my cousin's daughter, who I love like a daughter, got married in Montana, and we were there to celebrate and bless her and her family.

Oct. - We found out we were having another GRAND, but this time it's a Lynch model.  Eeeeeeeeeek!  

Nov. - We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with all the chicks (except for Claiborne 😭) in one nest for a few hours.

Dec. - Celebrated 29 years of marriage at a wrestling tournament in Sydney, MT. 
 Had Christmas and helped Bowen family move to WY.

This new year in 2019 I am focusing on the word BELIEVE, and saying to the Lord, 
"Yes, I BELIEVE; help my unbelief."

It baffles me how easy it is to BELIEVE in Jesus as my Savior for my eternal salvation, and yet, it seems to be a struggle to BELIEVE in Him for the daily, in the here and now.
We love and cling to the verse John 3:16, and it is a good one, the BEST!  It gives us a promise of God's love and eternity. 
Why do we often times skip the in-between believing?  We believe that Jesus came to reconcile us to God and to give us eternal life with Him in heaven, but do we believe that He is working in us and thru us every day that we are living right here, right now.

John 3:16

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
I believe; help my unbelief.

Mark 9:23-24

23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Matthew 13:58

58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

I don't want to limit the work of God in my life because of my unbelief.  May I believe and see God work in my life in 2019!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

This has been a very full year for our family.  We have had many blessings this year, some wonderful and some hard.  I say it like that because I believe anything that brings us closer to our Lord and Savior is a blessing.  The wonderful blessings are ones that make us cry for joy and thanksgiving, the hard blessings are the ones that feel scary and bring us to our knees in prayer and submission.
  We have had an abundance of both of these this year.  

 I can truly say #blessed!

 I would call this a "moving" year. We have moved from Oregon to Montana and many of our family and friends have made moves this year.  The nice thing about all this moving around is you can get rid of things that you don't want to keep dragging around.
  Things inside and outside, it's been a bit cleansing.  

The hardest and greatest part of all this moving around is I have watched my kids have to readjust and make all these changes at such tender and formative years.  They have all been amazing overall, even though it has been super challenging. We have hit some hard bumps in the road, but every single time, they bounce back and overcome.  I tell them often that this is the year that will grow them in many ways.  They will be stronger and more flexible and learn more about who they are and what they believe.

God has given this family so much this year, and yet I feel stripped of the securities and support we have spent so many years building.  The routines and habits and friends that have been there for so many years are so far away. 

 Charlie is still commuting back and forth between Oregon and Montana,  so that has been a challenge and has forced me to put on my big girl pants and do some things that were hard for me even in the comfort of my old familiar stomping grounds.  Charlie has been away from us most of the time, but we have felt his presence and leadership more than ever.  The way he has provided and protected and supported this family thru so much sacrifice and generosity have been above and beyond. 

God has blessed us GRANDLY, in double portions this year!  We have been overjoyed to be ALL HANDS ON DECK with the GRANDS.  I remind myself on the hard days of this very "moving" year, that if everything else in our lives seems crazy and out of control, that all the changes and all the adjustments are worth it to be near these GRANDS
 (and their parents).  

One of the top 3 #blessed additions to our lives this year has been my amazing
 daughter- in-love.
  We hit the jackpot with this girl! 

 I love her like my own
we have the same feet. 
 This is a big deal to me...nobody understands me quite like her, because when you can walk in the same shoes, there is a bond beyond titles or DNA.

I get to have lunch or coffee with grown daughters and daughter-in-love on a pretty regular basis! 
We never know how long this season is, as the more we grow, the more things change, but I know for right now, this has been one of the biggest blessed seasons of my life!!!  

Anyone who knows me knows my favorite number is 333.  It a fun little reminder when I see it that God is with me. There is no power in the number itself,  It's just a fun little wink from God everytime I see it.  There has rarely been a day lately that I haven't seen it.  God has been winking his face off at me, it's like He has something in His eye.  

Psalm 17:8 English Standard Version (ESV)

Keep me as the apple of your eye;

    hide me in the shadow of your wings,

 It must be me He has in His eye.  Look at what He has done.
 And look at the army of men God has given to my man!  These are men that are fun and fierce, they love and fight for what matters.  A few years ago Charlie preached on David's mighty men and he talked about how important it is to have men in your life that will back you up, and call you out and keep you humble and build you up in all the right ways.  God has done that for my man!  

Christmas is a season to celebrate our Savior and to acknowledge how He broke into this world to save us and be with us every day in every way.  If we save this celebration for only once a year we are missing the point of life.  May we stand in awe and thanksgiving
 thru every wonderful and hard blessing in our lives.

Isaiah 9:6 English Standard Version (ESV)

For to us a child is born,

    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What's Next? Living Free!

Give us this day our daily bread.
  This is one of the things Jesus put in a prayer that was to teach us how to pray.

I have been thinking and praying a lot about what is next for us.
 This move has been a huge transition in every way. 
Charlie and I feel freed up and yet stuck in the thoughts of,
 “What now?”

 Charlie got a good contract to finish his Oregon building career.
 He is working as hard as a young man with the wisdom of an old man.
  He is getting paid for his back and brain on this one. 

I feel like God gave us our financial get out of jail debt free card and if I begin to think it was a one-shot deal that can make me worried and stingy.  I can start to think God is done with taking care of us and now he is sending us to figure life out on our own.
* This is not the character or my experience of my Father, it’s just what happens in my mind if I forget WHO my Father is.*
 God teaches us things to draw us closer to Him, into a deeper dependence, and to trust Him fully.
 He doesn’t teach us things so we can move out of the house and fend for ourselves.

God treats us as children that He loves and cares for.

I think of our children and how we give them what they need when they need it, and we aren't all mean and mad about it.
 And when they get old enough to send to the store with a list and some money, and if they come back with a bag of candy instead of the things on the list, I might not send them to the store again for a while, until they learn how to handle the list and the money responsibly.

God doesn’t shortchange us and tell us to figure it out ourselves and He also doesn’t approve when we come home with nothing but a bag full of junk that isn't even good for us.

Matthew 7:11-12 (ESV) 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

As I sit with the Lord and feel so thankful for His mighty provision and His faithful generosity; in the same sitting, I can hold my breath in anxiety about the future if I forget WHO I am sitting with.

We have done everything wrong according to American living and yet our God keeps showing up and providing generously as needed. 

The thing that is often taught and preached about is how to be good stewards.  I believe in good stewardship, it is Biblical.  What if we have stewardship backward, kinda like Kingdom living is upside down.
The KING came down as a servant to serve and save.
  What if stewardship means giving more, not saving more, using what is given now, not storing for later.

What if we remembered WHO we are stewards for and WHOSE resources we are stewarding.
 What if we really believed that every last bit of everything we have been given is for His Kingdom, not ours?

I’ve never read anywhere in God’s Word that He could only use people that were rich enough, or smart enough, or creative enough to do what He has told us to do in His Word.
 How have we put a price tag or limitations on what God puts on our hearts?

My mind wants to store up what He has given us, and be smarter this time, and my heart wants to 
 like a wild child that is free and forgiven and lavished on with grace and love, and everything I could ever need physically and spiritually are provided for by my Heavenly Father forever!

Psalm 34:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
    for those who fear him have no lack!