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.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Things Change.

  I have once again been reminded that we are not on this earth to be comfortable.  Even though my tendency is to want to be comfortable and hold people and things that I love with a tight grip.  

I have once again been reminded that when we are Christians our life is not our own.  We have been paid for with a price.  The precious gift of life eternal with Jesus came at the highest price, and when we say "YES" to Jesus, we are signing up for the most amazing ETERNAL life, but we are also signing up to  love and follow Him with total abandon.

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus ] Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

 Jesus is always moving forward.  The word "follow" implies movement.  When we follow Him we will always be moving forward.....and the people that we LOVE that we want to hang on to so stinkin' tight are also moving forward.

Life is ALWAYS changing.
 Even if we never move our location or never feel like we change, or if we fight change with everything in us, 

  As time goes on, the changes seem to come more often and affect more people, because the further you get down the road of life, the more people you love and connect with.

  I know all the changes that have come into our lives are good and right they are still changes and they cause a rippling effect of adjustment for everyone involved.

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.

Some of the changes in my life have come when I'm ready to walk through the next door and there is opportunity I can see ahead, and sometimes the changes in my life are because the door got slammed behind me and I have to move forward
 be stuck looking backwards and banging my head on the door.

Either is changing and it is a constant process of moving forward.

I pray that in more seasons of CHANGE ahead that my focus is totally on HIM because

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Be encouraged if God is changing things up....he is moving His people to follow Him and use them to bring
Him Glory
 in every nation and every neighborhood!


Matthew 9:36-38

English Standard Version (ESV)
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless,like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Baptism is Fun!

Matthew 19:14

14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Have I expressed lately how much I love our church family.  Here we are on a Monday night baptizing people.  
I can't think of a better way to spend a Monday night.

This night was extra special.  
We got to be witnesses to some pretty personally special baptisms.  

The first one was our Pastor's (Priester according to Reece) son.  It was pretty cool because his grandpa and grandma came from Texas to witness and help with the blessed event. 

 I love this family so much.  They are not only our pastors and leaders, they are our friends, and they are examples in their walk with the Lord and the leadership of their family.  

Reece has been asking and asking if he could get baptized (bathtized according to him).
 It usually comes up when he is watching it of course, but it always brings up good discussion.

 We have said no...not until he understands what he is doing. 
 I have felt funny about that a couple of times, because I love the passion Reece has and I never want to squelch that excitement.  It felt wrong to tell anyone NO if they are wanting to get baptized.
I have been talking to the Lord about this, and then on Sunday, Pastor Jordan talked about knowing God and growing up in our faith.  He talked about how his son was going to get baptized because he wanted to and he was excited about it and that's all he needs to know at this point.
It just hit me, and God was answering my questions about Reece.

Reece understands it as well as any 6 year old could understand.
  He loves Jesus, he loves church, and he loves to pray, 
even if at this point all those things are done for really immature and childish reasons and in childish ways, they are still real and totally sincere.  He wouldn't know how to make it up if he wanted to. 

Even if these 2 little guys don't fully understand the meaning of baptism, they know they love Jesus and they want to follow Him. 
 They said so themselves for all to hear!
  Who are we to stop them from "coming to Jesus".  It took me to 42 to be courageous enough to do it again with a better understanding.  I don't want to miss this chance to grow his faith NOW, and cheer him on.  So we took a step of faith and let the "children come to Jesus".  

They look pretty happy about the whole thing to me.  

There was also some more mature Christians being baptized last night. 

 I love that God is right there to meet us wherever we are in life, in whatever stage of growth, at whatever age and understanding.
  God is good!

Reece already refers to things before he was bathtized and after he was bathtized.
***Mind you, it has not even been 24 hours.****
  It has been a marker for him...haha...he feels like a new person.  I sure hope it sticks.  lol

Sunday, April 13, 2014

That Was Not Cool.

We are so blessed to live where we do, and frankly it's a bit of a bubble here.  It's an awesome bubble. I'm thankful for my bubble.

  When we have brought our adopted kids home, our community practically fell over themselves to love on them to accept them and to welcome them. 

 When we brought Esther home she thought she was a movie star (she still kinda thinks that), but it was fun to watch and be a part of.

We have often thought race was not an issue here, and therefore, we thought it was pretty well gone in this country. 
 We were blind.

We kind of figured, people have been educated and learned from past stupidity.

WE have since been educated a bit.  
Claiborne has let us in on some realities that we were ignorant of. He has taught us so lovingly the truth and the reality of the world outside of our bubble.  He has answered our questions and told us stories and NOW we get it a bit more.  We will never get it completely until we have walked in someone else's shoes or skin, but we have had our eyes opened a bit more.

This all brings me to what happened, that I thought would NOT happen here. 
 Mik was called the N word.  It was from another kid...and it was meant to be mean.
 Mik handled it so perfectly I could just kiss him.  He told the kid that if he called him that one more time he could take it up with his dad and then he pointed out Charlie who was looking pretty rough from a long dirty day at work.  I wonder what that kid must have thought, but it makes me giggle a little...and the kid shut his mouth.

Esther would have no idea what that meant or that it was even meant to hurt, but Mik has been around enough that HE GETS IT.  He has been exposed to more hurt than any kid his age ever should be.
 He is such a special gift from God.
Even though he has had so much injustice in his young life, his heart is still tender, and he is so secure in his family. He knows who has his back and I'm telling you he has our backs as well.

It makes me think of how we have handled the whole "race" issue.  We have felt like, so far, it hasn't effected us, so why worry about it.  If we dwell on it, we are just adding fuel to the fire, if we ignore it, it will go away.


If I let my brothers and sisters in Christ be treated unfairly and I don't stand up for them, even if it's not MY hot button.....what will God have to say about that when I face him.

I think of my kids....if they don't stick up for each other and support each other, I AM FURIOUS.  That will not fly in our house.  

Why would I think that will fly in God's family?

Revelation 7:9-10

English Standard Version (ESV)

A Great Multitude from Every Nation

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

I want to look at my brothers and sisters on this great day and remember the time we stuck up for each other and loved each other well.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

That's How He Rolled

There's a thin line between feeling encouraged and discouraged.
  It takes a moment in time or a part of a word to go from being encouraged to discouraged.
  I often think when 'close calls' happen we can feel 'lucky' to be alive. 
 I can't count on 'luck'.
  That thought does NOT encourage me.
I am NOT a lucky person.

 However, the reminder that God almighty is in charge of the very air that we all breath and the fact that we can even take our next breath TOTALLY encourages me. 
 I know I can count on Him, I know He is faithful.

 It takes the idea of
 luck and junk
 and tosses it out and brings me to a place of 
 to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Psalm 34:7-8

The angel of the Lord encamps

    around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

  This day could have had a whole different ending to it.  God protected my kid in a humongous way and I can't help but

  I am thankful thankful thankful. 

Kole swerved to avoid a goose and hit the gravel and that's
 how he rolled.
  *kinda sounds like a country song*

Even though I am so thankful, there is the part of me that knows or was reminded today how quickly things can change.

  I don't think it is healthy to camp in the 'what if's' but when I am faced with scary situations my mind just goes there.  I try to not camp there too long, but walk through it in my mind.
  So here's what God so graciously reminded me of at 2am as I wake up with thanksgiving that Kole is fine and protected, but my mind also racing to the,

  I have learned to go back to the things that I know for sure...and then it takes the power out of the fear that is racing through my mind.

Here are the things I KNOW FOR SURE:

I know that if God would have allowed a different outcome and Kole would not have walked away from that accident...I KNOW THAT MY GOD IS WITH ME AND HE IS WITH KOLE.

I realized the biggest gift Kole has ever given to me, is that he is has accepted the greatest  gift God has ever given the world and he is SAVED and will have ETERNAL life.

John 3:16-17

For God So Loved the World

16 “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 


 There is no question in my mind where he stands with our great big gracious heavenly Father.  I am so thankful that Kole is still with us and I can hug my kid today, but I am even more thankful to know that no matter what today brings GOD IS WITH HIM.  I am so thankful to know that God loves my kid a million more times than I do, and that He has given Him life EVERLASTING.  

The best gift we can give to the people that we love and the people that love to LOVE JESUS and live a life that shows them and tells them this truth.
 There is comfort in this beyond anything this world has to offer.

I want Kole * and myself* to slow our fast driving butts down, but I want him and everyone I know to grab a gear  and go faster in the race that really matters, and keep our eyes on JESUS.

Hebrews 12:1-3

English Standard Version (ESV)

Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Compelled by Love

What is it that we are really looking for?


Being in love with Jesus, will compel us to do stuff we haven't done before and to go places that we haven't gone before.
  Love just grows and spreads and has a way of getting in our business and all over us and the people around us.
All for
 His glory, for His praise, NOT our own.

Here's a scenario of what can happen to distract us from acting on the LOVE:
A person feels a tug at their heart to do something.  A something that can only be explained by the Lord putting it on the person's heart.  Things like...mission work....donating time and resources....going to Bible study....being part of a church. many times we instantly disqualify ourselves to follow through on the "tug"  by blaming others; our spouse, our children, our parents, our job.  Whoever is conveniently located that may not be jumping up and down at our first suggestion of 'going to Africa' or whatever your particular tug happens to be.

I have this recurring revelation that has come full circle in my life several times.  When God lays something on your heart...HE KNOWS who you are....HE KNOWS your life!!!  He knows who you are married to, He knows who your kids are, He knows who your boss is and what your job is.
  Often times we won't even approach the person that we need to 'run it by', we just use them as the escape goat because we
they will not be on board.
And frankly we are timid and a bit embarrassed about what we want to do.

I've learned there is a big difference between, not being on board, and saying NO!
 I have yet to hear a hubby say NO you can't help someone, or no you can't go to church, or you can't go to Bible study, or you can't go on a mission trip, but we often use that as our reason for NOT stepping out if faith.

We won't even  have the hard conversation because of our pride, and our insecurity.
 We are not POSITIVE ourselves that God wants us to do that 'thing' in the first place, and we certainly don't want to be on the line if things don't go perfect. So,we just say things like....we are waiting on the Lord....or it's not our time.
All that may be true some of the time, but I think, more times than not, it's just that we don't want to put ourselves out there and actually GO for it.  It's easier to blame everyone else.

I think of Lashae when she wanted to go on a mission trip her Senior year of high school.
  We WERE NOT in favor of mission trips.  AT ALL!
  We especially were not fans of our 17 year old going to Africa with NO experience AT ALL, no money, and going at the end of her Senior year of high school.
The whole thing seemed ridiculous to us.

The time.
The money.
 I mean, why HER?  Why not anyone else?  

She put herself out there...she told us what was on her heart , she tried to answer our questions, but mostly her answer was this,
and then she prayed a lot and let the Lord work on our hearts.
She was so respectful and patient and firm in her conviction.

 She took the step of faith and had the hard conversation and continued to pray and trust the Lord.

 Of course the rest is history, He changed our WHOLE FAMILY through that experience.

What if she would have said,
 "They will never go for it, so I'm just going to wait until I can decide for myself".
 Because without the Lord changing us and working on our hearts, she would have been RIGHT to make that statement, but we would have missed out on so much blessing.

I think of the things the Lord has put in front of me, and so many times, I jump to  this excuse or that excuse.

But,I am here to testify, when He speaks to me and I TRUST HIM and step out in FAITH....
that I have actually trusted Him and moved forward in obedience, He ALWAYS provides above and beyond anything I could imagine.

 He provides the
 with people, with finances, with responsibilities, with timing.
 He does not miss a STEP.

 God doesn't usually lay it on Charlie's heart or my kid's hearts to suggest to me that I go and do whatever.  He deals with them as well, but  on their own stuff.
He is such a personal God.

He lays it on my heart because He is interested in a personal relationship with me and my trust and my obedience. And the same is true for each person.
 If we never take that first step of faith, to speak what is on our hearts to those that we are in relationship with, those HE has so graciously put in our won't go

We must trust HIM with our people.  :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Giving Thanks!

Giving Thanks!

I am about to get to 1000! 
 1000 things I have written in a journal that I am thankful for. 
has written a book, one thousand gifts,
 about how it changed her life to write down 1000 things she is thankful for. 
 She challenges everyone to do it.
 It's been a challenge, that was harder and took much longer than I wish to admit.
 You would think I could write 1000 things A DAY I am thankful for. 

 But to remain FAITHFUL, and to REMEMBER, and then to take the TIME to write it down has resulted in it taking longer than I was hoping.
  How pathetic that THOSE are the reasons it has taken several months to log in 1000 things I'm grateful for.

I am thankful to God  for the things that I have written down.  I even wrote a few things that I don't necessarily enjoy, but am thankful for them because it says in His Word to do this.  It's actually the hardest things in life, the things that are the hardest to be thankful for, that usually is the stuff that grows us and changes us the most.
 It's usually these hard situations or difficult relationships that draw us nearer to Him.  So, for that

Philippians 4:6

English Standard Version (ESV)
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

I was thinking of the fact that I know some Christians that don't seem grateful AT ALL, for anything.
  They are anxious and disgruntled with life...even though they have  been given hope and the gift of eternal life with our Lord and Savior in heaven. 
 What could be better than that??
Then I know  people that are not Christians and they are very grateful people.  They are kind and thankful for everything, they just haven't learned how to direct that gratitude to God. (((yet)))

I feel like "thanksgiving" was one of the things the Lord is teaching me and dealing with me on right now and here's the picture I got in my head of what grateful and ungrateful people look like, as I was talking to the Lord about it:

There is a crowd of people headed for the door of a really good popular restaurant.  A kind gentleman grabs the door and opens it.  He opens it and holds it open for all the people that are streaming through it.
  Some say thank you...some don't.  

Some are in such a hurry or so anxious about getting into the restaurant that they don't even notice the nice man holding the door open for them.  Some may even know him, but they didn't take the time to thank him, and  they missed the chance to visit with their friend because they didn't even acknowledge him.

  Then there are some that take the time to say thank you and also make eye contact with him and shoot him a smile because they realize they know him.  

Then there are those that say thank you, but, to no one in particular, they are just having good manners and are in the habit of saying thank you. 

 Then there is this kind gentleman's  own family..they go through the same door, tell him thank you with a smile and eye contact and THEN they wait for him to get done holding the door before they are  even seated at the restaurant because they would not want to miss his company.  They know His presence is the best part of the whole meal. 
At this table, there is so much joy and good food and great conversation and the kind man that held the door for everyone...also pays for the whole meal.

They all got the same thing.
The door was held for everyone the same way, by the same nice man, and they all responded differently. 

Matthew 5:45

English Standard Version (ESV)

45  For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 

I want to be the one to say thank you and make eye contact and shoot a smile at the kind man holding the door and then I want to sit at His table and have conversation and a meal with this kind man. 

This kind man is a picture of God...He sends rains on the just and the unjust...we all breathe the same air that HE gave to us...some are thankful, some are not, some know him and some don't....some know Him and are thankful and enjoy


James 1:17-18

English Standard Version (ESV)
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.[a] 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Break 2014

Spring Break Recap.

Isaiah 55:12

English Standard Version (ESV)
“For you shall go out in joy

    and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and the hills before you
    shall break forth into singing,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

I had the best spring break ever.

It was packed full of everything I love.

The first part of the week was at home and just getting 

to spend time with the kids and my grand babies.

Then the second half of the week...Charlie, Kole, and I went to Texas for a conference and we got all 

It was a fun few days, we got to visit my sister and her kids.

 And we got to spend time with Claiborne 
and enjoy the food and the sunshine that Texas has to offer.

We got to know our Savior better.
We had good teaching and amazing worship.  

And as usual, Charsie did what she does best and she kept it all together and running smoothly at home, so we could go.

I would be lost without this kid!

Spring Break was full of blessings from my Lord.

We got home at 4:30am on Sunday morning and I was overwhelmed by the presence of
and the goodness of 

*coming home is always my favorite part of leaving*

 I am LOVED by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and He sure reminded me of that in a 1000 ways over this
 Spring Break.