Thursday, August 27, 2009

Latest on My Parents

So we finally got the test results from my mom's stress test yesterday and they saw what they think might be some blockage, so they are going to do an arteriagram (not sure if that spelling is correct) this afternoon. If there is a blockage they will balloon it or do a stint while they are in there. I will be over there with her with in the next half hour. She is at Vanderbilt Hospital.

I am currently at Centennial Hospital with daddy and Mr. Marty. (Watching the Price is Right - Daddy's normal routine!) Daddy is doing great. He has already been up walking and right now is sitting up in the chair and has been on the computer this morning already. He has not had much sleep thanks to the morphine drip machine. It is set to beep when his heart rate gets above or below a certain number and as soon as he gets to the point where he can sleep his heart rate gets below that number and the machine goes off on him! but he is well taken care of here at Centennial and as far as we know things are still on for him to go home tomorrow. We should know more after we hear from the doctor - he has not come by yet.

So, we are doing good just a little scattered at the moment! :) Please continue to pray that Momma and Daddy will continue to heal and be able to go home soon! :) Well, I am gonna leave it at that so I can head over to be with Momma. If you want or need to get in touch with us you can call my cell, 702-672-4833, or call Zeke @ the house and he can get you to us!
Thanks so much for your prayers! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Update!

Ok, so just to let you all know what is going on...We went this morning to Nashville and my dad had another colonoscopy done just to double check that everything looked good and would be ok for surgery tomorrow (Wednesday). So we waited forever for them to take him beack and they finally did and less than 15 mins later the procedure was done. Everything looks fine and we are on for tomorrow morning @ 8am!

However, on the way home, my mom started having some shortness of breath and chest pain. We got home and ate lunch and she wasn't feeling any better, so I went with her to the ER. They did an EKG and took blood and did a few other tests but nothing seemed abnormal.
Momma had already been referred to a cardiologist that she was going to go see on Thursday morning. But since this was the second time this week that she had been seen because she had shortness of breath, the cardiologist decided to play it safe and have her go on to Vanderbilt and stay overnight and have a stress test done in the morning. This is simply precautionary - she has not had a heart attack or even had severe chest pains. The doctor just wants to figure out what the problem is so that the issue can be resolved.

Momma is upset about having to go because Daddy's reversal surgery is tomorrow morning and she hates to miss it, but we all know that she needs to go and make sure everything is ok with her. Please pray that everything will go well tomorrow for both of them!

Paula is going with Momma to Vanderbilt tonight, and is going to stay with her through the night and until she is finished with everything tomorrow. They just left about 20 mins ago so they should get to Vandy about 11pm. Pray that everyone gets rest tonight and that tomorrow goes smoothly!

Thanks so much for all your prayers! We truly appreciate them! :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Overwhelmed

So Today has been insane! Last night it took me almost an hour to quiet my mind and stop thinking about jobs, bills, etc. so that I could go to sleep. Zeke and I have sent out so many resumes and filled out so many applications over the last few weeks that we cannot even count them all! And we have heard nothing back! So to say the least we have been overwhelmed.

But God totally threw us for a loop today - in a good way! And why am I saying just today - He has been throwing us for a loop since Spring (and honestly much further back than that! :) From the time we got ready to move to TN, God amazingly provided the exact amount of money we needed to get her safely and on time. Since then, He provided financially for every bill we have needed - we have not missed paying a bill yet! And we have not had jobs since May! When we were moving here we knew that the first two months here we would be ok because Zeke had camps lined up to lead for and had a job lined up for a few weeks, so we knew we would be able to pay our bills. But we also knew that when August hit, things would get tight! Really tight! But we knew that He would provide, somehow! However, over the last few weeks as we sent out resume after resume and application after application our situation became pretty discouraging! I still knew that God would provide, but it was still getting discouraging. It was hard to grasp that God would not provide a job more quickly so that we could have some source of income, but the other side of the situation is that this only means that He has another plan of providing for us.

So today God revealed Himself to Zeke and me in such an amazing way. Through friends and family God provided financially all that wee needed to pay bills for the rest of the month and some that we will have the first of next month. Amazing! It finally made sense. God could have easily given us any of the jobs that we had applied for, there is no doubt about that. But we would never experience His provision in this amazing way if that had been the case! How incredible! To sit at the feet of a the God of the universe who is faithful to provide - not necessarily how we think He should, but in His perfect way and perfect timing!

And not only that, but for our family and friends who were faithful to do what God laid on their hearts! A reminder that when God calls us to do something, we need to be faithful to obey because our obedience effects others. Think about it this way...because the disciples were obedient to follow Christ, we benefit from their obedience! They went into the world and told others about their relationship with Him, and through that many people have come to know Christ. Amazing!

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord." Isaiah 55:8

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Random Thoughts

So it has been a while since I have blogged, and I should probably use this time to update you all on some of the things going on around here. Zeke and I are still in Tennessee, and will be staying here for a while. We really feel that we need to be here to help my parents as my dad continues to recover. So since we are staying, we are searching for jobs...and finding nothing as of right now. We are trusting that God will provide and He will provide in His timing! Please pray that we will continue to lay this at His feet daily!

As far as my dad's recovery process, things are going well. He went to the doctor today and had some tests done to make sure that the leak they found before was repaired so that he could have the ostomy reversed. Thankfully everything has healed just like it is supposed to! So he will go in for the reversal surgery on the 26th (next Wednesday). I am not sure of the time right now but I think it is going to be first thing in the morning. We are very excited and my dad is definitely ready for this surgery! He has been able to do some work from home the last week, but he is ready to get out of the house!

God has truly blessed us through this whole situation! I remember when i first found out about my dad's cancer and how overpowering it seemed. Through it all God has reminded us that He has placed us here! This is not something that we simply wandered into and He never saw coming. He knew that we would be here before the foundation of the world! Amazing!

Zeke and I just celebrated our first anniversary! We still cannot believe it has been a year already! So much has happened in this last year that it has gone by insanely fast! However, we have enjoyed it thoroughly!

Zeke starts seminary classes online through Liberty University this Monday. He is really excited and I am too! I am looking forward to learning some of this stuff along with him! :)

God is continuing to grow in our hearts a passion for the world! We are daily getting more excited about what God has for us here in Shelbyville and what the future will hold. For those of you who don't know, our long term goal is to plant a church in Hawaii, the big island, in Hilo where Zeke is from. God has really burdened Zeke's heart for the people there is his hometown, and the more I seek after God, the more my heart is burdened for these people. A great friend of ours sent Zeke a video on Facebook last week and it completely encouraged us about this long term goal! God is continually reminding us that if we are followers of Christ we will follow after and fight for His heart. And His heart beats for those who do not know Him to be reconciled to Him! I am constantly reminded that our Amazing God is a God of Reconciliation and Redeemption! Thank Goodness - otherwise we would not be able to have an intimate relationship with Him! Back to the video...it was of a Pastor from Alabama who spoke at this year's Sothern Baptist Convention. He spoke about how the church was commanded to GO and yet we are not willing to risk what we have to follow after Him! "Are we dying in our religion, or are we dying in our devotion?" He read these verses in Hebrews 13 "So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through His own blood. Therefore let us fo to Him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured." (Heb. 13:12-13) If we are ever going to impact the world for Christ, we have to be willing to endure the filth, dirt, and suffering to see the precious reconciliation that lies outside the gate! The unclean things were outside the gate. Jesus went outside the gate. The servant (that's us) is not greater than the Master (that's Jesus). We must go outside the gate! I am going to embed this video so you can watch it too! Please take the time to watch it! You will be encouraged and challenged!

Thank you all for your prayers for me and my family! Please keep them going! :) Love you all! :)

David Platt: SBC Pastors Conference 2009 from Todd Thomas on Vimeo.



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Good

Our society has so many varying definitions for this word. It is funny though that the majority of the definitions we have for this word revolve around our benefit or our pleasure! I looked this word up on dictonary.com and there were over 40 basic definitions of this word! Holy Cow! My favorite was this one "free of distress or pain; comfortable." This made me laugh. I think back on good things in my life and they were not always comfortable! It was a good thing that my parents and I moved to Las Vegas, but it was far from comfy or free of distress! It was not what I would have considered a good thing if I had not understood that God had a plan for my family and me!

Sometimes it seems as though we expect God to do "good" things and only "good" things in our lives. the problem is that God's view of "good" and our view of "good" are two very different things! God views those things that grow us in our relationship with Him as "good." These things could be trials, difficulties, being shown grace, etc. Sometimes things that our flesh considers "good" but also sometimes things that our flesh considers "bad." God uses these things in our lives to grow us into the people He desires for us to be! He doesn't use these things to accomplish what we feel is "good." He uses these things to bring about things that He knows are "good." Our God knows "good!" Think back to creation! Each time He created something He was the one who decided whether or not it was "good." Not Adam, Not Eve, Not the animals! God!

Lord,
Help me to always remember that Your thoughts are not my thoughts, and your ways are not my ways! As high as the heavens is how far above my thoughts Your thoughts are! (Isaiah 55:8) I know that you have a plan for me! (Jeremiah 29:11) Help me to consider the trials I encounter while serving You as joys! (James 1:3) Knowing that these trials mold me into who You desire for me to be! Search my heart oh God! Help me to remember that You are GOOD! That you use everything in my life for good - not my definition of "good", but Your GOOD! Amen.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Faithful

I don't really know what to write at this point in time, but I just feel like writing. The last few months have been incredible! I cannot even begin to describe how amazing God has been to Zeke and me in providing for al that we have needed! And just in His perfect timing too! I feel like we are at that point again where God is taking us a little further out into the wilderness and looking at us with that look that says "I have so much waiting for you! You've trusted me this far, will you trust Me further?" And part of me wants to run like the wind in the other direction, but deeper down within me I know that He is so much more than trustworthy! How could I not go further? What would I miss if I ran the other way?

Sometimes it is so hard to trust God and follow Him, even when He has been absolutely faithful for so long and through so much in our lives! We need to be daily encouraged to surrender everything to Him.

Sitting here I am thinking about all that the next few weeks hold for my family! I told Zeke tonight I have never run headlong into so many things haveing absolutely no idea how God is going to provide! We know He has us exactly where He wants us! That has been confirmed in numerous ways! However, we are in a position where we are having to completely trust that God is going to provide for us to be where He called us!

I know that My Father in Heaven owns the cattle on a thousand hills! He clothes the lillies and takes perfect care of the sparrows and I am of much more value to Him than either of those! I know He will provide, but I need to be still!

"The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet."
Exodus 14:14

I know that God has an amazing plan and I simply need to trust Him and follow where He leads me!

"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not My ways.'
This is the Lord's declaration.
'For as heaven is higher than earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.'"
Isaiah 55:8

"'For I know the plans I have for you'
this is the Lord's declaration
'plans for your welfare, not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope.'"
Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, July 18, 2009


When did we stop expecting great things from a powerful God? When did we buy into the lie that God moved in amazingly powerful ways during Old Testament times, but He simply doesn’t move like that anymore? Do we even realize that this is what we believe? Because it is definitely how we live most of the time.


I am more convinced than ever that my generation sits on the verge of a mighty work of God. Something that we can feel moving within us, burning in our bones, but we do not know the time when this mighty work of a mighty God will manifest itself to the world.

As I write this let me just explain my surroundings. I am sitting on the back porch of the house of very dear family friends. They have a small farm here in Shelbyville and have gone out of town to visit family, so Zeke and I are house sitting. The backporch faces west and it is that time of the day, sunset! Today was a pretty hot day, I have the sunburn to prove it, but right now as the sun is slowly going down, the temperature is cool and the crickets are making their presence known. There are horses to my right and my left. Only four, two on each side. Simply being what God created them to be, praising a righteous and Holy God by grazing in the pasture! But the most incredible part of my surroundings id the breeze. A cool breeze. A breeze that comes strong enough to chill but then lets up at the perfect time. A perfect picture to me of the mighty work God is doing in the lives of His people right now!

I am reading the book “The Fear Killer Generation,” by Kevin Shrum (A pastor who Zeke led with @ Super Summer in Clarksville, TN) and John Pisciotta. I feel like every conversation and thought about God’s work that I have had within the last few months is being relived through the first few chapters of this book. I really and truly do believe that we are on the edge of something great from God, not that what we already have in Him is not enough, it is far more than enough! But I believe God has even more waiting for us! I really believe that we are living in some of the greatest days to be alive and a part of the kingdom of God!

Of course the world is not perfect. I am not claiming that. But for a second, look far beyond the junk and mess of this world. (Sometimes we allow ourselves to focus on the things that are wrong with the world and forget that our God is greater! He is mightier! He is bigger and stronger!) Focus on the truth of who God is! If that means you need to read through a Psalm that declares the Glory of our Great God before you finish reading this, then do it! Maybe Psalm 105, or Psalm 118.

As I was reading this book, The Fear Killer Generation,” last night, I was introduced to the greatest analogy for this mighty work of God. The author said that this work is like a huge wave, a tsunami wave. This is not a wave that you see coming from a long way off and have time to prepare for its arrival. This wave starts underwater as the result of an underwater earthquake. You cannot see it coming. There is not time to prepare for its arrival. It strikes with strength and power and as a complete surprise!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Update

Today has been an eventful day! So far from what I pictured for this day when I woke up this morning!

Zeke and I decided that we would go visit a friend's church in Nashville today. Zeke met this pastor this week at camp, they worked together in the Green School at Super Summer, and Zeke told him that we would come visit in a few weeks because we were supposed to be out of town this weekend and then have children's camp next week. But since we ended up staying in town and my dad was still in the hospital and having a rough day, we figured we would just go to church and then head straight over to see my dad. While we were in church I got a text message from my mom saying that they had run tests to see what was wrong with my dad and they found that there was a leak so they were going to have to take him back in for surgery!

My immediate thought was we have to go, NOW, but as I sat there God began to speak to my heart that this was out of my control! (Obviously!) If we left in the middle of the service it would be awkward and getting to the hospital at that point would not do any good because there is nothing I could do anyways, except pray and that I could do right where I was!

So I began to pray! Pray that God would protect my dad and heal his body. I could not sit still all during the service - it could not get finished fast enough! Finally it was done and we were on our way over to the hospital. I got there in time to see my dad before he went into surgery and we stayed the entire time he was in surgery. Everything went well with the surgery and he is now back in his room at the hospital resting. On the way home, Zeke and I were talking and I began putting two and two together.

I have been going through I study about the Israelites and how God freed them from Egypt and took hem through the wilderness, providing for their every need as they went, but yet every time they came to a place where a need arose, they forgot that God was providing for them! This is just like me in this situation with my dad. There is nothing I could do to care for my dad and heal his body! I had to trust that God would provide like He always does! For me in this situation, that meant sitting through the rest of a church service realizing that my presence was not the one that mattered in the situation, but rather that God's presence was all that mattered! Trusting that He is faithful and will always provide for His children! Applying the knowledge I have gained from the numerous times He has provided for our family already!

I am so thankful that my family and I and those around us can look at my dad's circumstances and realize that God brought this about to reveal Himself! He has shown up and revealed glimpses of His glory all throughout this process! He is a great God! The only God and so incredibly worthy of our worship!


Just so you know...
My dad ended up having to have a temporary colostomy. This is very common with the type of procedure he had done the other day - colon resection - especially after chemo and radiation! Basically, the tissue in the area they resectioned, although healthy, does not heal back properly because of the radiation treatments. So they did a temporary colostomy. He will have this for 3-6mos and then be able to go in and have the colostomy reversed. They say 3-6mos because they want it to be as "cosmetic" of a surgery as possible. The surgery itself took about 3 hours. He got back into the room from recovery about 6pm and has been resting the rest of the night! Our family is so grateful for all of your prayers! They mean more than we could ever say!
Thanks so much!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Edited Pictures


These are some pictures that I took 2 Summers ago in Chicago. I just found them again on my parent's computer so I decided to edit them! Hope you enjoy! :)


Rain!

Ok, so I have to admit that this week has been absolutely insane! It started off a normal week of VBS (which by the way I haven't helped with in two years because of work!). However, it turned into a very big week in the life of my family!

Zeke left on Sunday afternoon for Super Summer a camp that the TN Baptist Convention puts on in Clarksville, TN. He went because one of their worship leaders had to back out at the last minute and a friend of ours got him the gig! A great way to make connections here in TN! However, I was definitely not looking forward to him being gone for a week! But it was just part of the deal.

On Wednesday, My dad went to have a colonoscopy done. This test was to check and see how the chemo and radiation had effected the tumor. The surgeon did the test and found that the chemo and radiation had worked to shrink the tumor and my dad would have to have surgeryto remove it. Oh and did I mention that the surgery was scheduled for Thursday - yeah you are following along correctly: colonoscopy on Wednesday, Surgery on Thursday! A BUSY week to say the least!

So my dad went through surgery perfectly fine. The surgeon told us that he thought they would be able to repair the tissue and NOT have to do a colostomy, but he really would not know until they were in there and really saw what was going on. When the surgery was finished, the surgeon came down and spoke with me and my mom. He told us that everything had gone perfectly fine and that just like he thought, the colostomy was not necessary! He ended his description of what happened during the surgery with "God is good!" We of course completely agreed! There was great rejoicing in the waiting room when we came out and told the others waiting there with us! Relief!

At the same time, my wonderful husband was in Clarksville, TN (a couple hours away) and woke up Wednesday morning to a swollen, sore right hand! So bad that he was unable to play the guitar for the rest of the week! When he came home on Friday we went to the doctor and found out that he has tendonitis in his right hand which means that his hand is on rest for the next week or so!

So with all of this going on, God reminded me this afternoon that he knows when I need to be refreshed. Not only that but He knows exactly what will refresh me! Today was a day of cleaning and getting things ready for when my dad will come home this coming week and taking care of Zeke because he still cannot use his hand. On top of that, today was insanely hot!! But, about an hour ago, a rainstorm came through and the temperature outside was perfectly comfortable and it was just amazing to get to spend some time in the rain! God loves us! He cares for us deeply and He realizes when we need Him to show up in a special way and refresh us!
"I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land, springs of water." Isaiah 41:18 God sends these times of refreshing into our lives as a way for us to refocus and prepare for the mext part of our journey!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Camp Impact


I sent this information as an email to some ladies I did a Bible Study with this Spring, but thought I should go on and post it as a blog so the rest of you can see it too!

God has been doing some amazing things here in Shelbyville! This is just a small glimpse of it!

Last week, we went to camp with Shelbyville Mills Baptist Church. We had been planning for this trip since March and we were so excited to see what God was going to do through this trip in the lives of the students and the church as a whole! Little did we know what He had planned....

The night before Satan launched a full out attack. His goal was simply to destroy the joy that I had going into that week! My mind was confused and I was becoming angry over some things and I was literally to the point where I just did not want to go! But as I prayed for the situation my mood changed. I knew that God had given me this opportunity to go and minister to these students and I could not let it pass me by. So of course I went and God showed up in ways I never dreamed! (Just to give you some background...this is the church that my family and I were attending when I gave my life to Christ and when He called us to be a part of the work in Las Vegas.)

The messages all week were focused on the armor of God(Eph 6:10-20). The first night was an overview of the armor and then each session after that focused on a specific piece of the armor. For each piece of the armor we focused on how that piece was used for the Roman soldier in battle, what that piece means to us as Christians, and how we can apply this piece of armor in our lives each day! Each message was amazing! And we learned that non of these pieces is more important than another, because if you are missing a piece then there is a part of you that is not protected from the attacks of the enemy! There was one piece that seemed to stick out to all of us more than the others though. This piece was the shield of faith. These shields used by the Roman soldiers were 2 1/2 ft wide and 4 1/2 ft tall, they were overlayed with leather that could be soaked in water to extinguish fiery arrows shot by the enemy, and on the sides they had grooves so that they could be locked in with one another to form a wall of protection. We learned that for us as Christians, our shield is our faith in God. Faith that He is who He says He is and will do what He promises! When the enemy begins to attack us, we duck down behind this faith just as a soldier ducks down behind his shield.

The coolest part of this message was getting to watch the students play a game afterward that really helped this truth to sink in to their hearts and the hearts of those of us watching! After each night session the students had night rec. They would go out onto this HUGE soccer field and play games by the light of a single generator-powered stadium light. For these activities the students were split into their color teams (a mixture of church groups and ages). This night the rec leader had them get into their color groups at various spots on the field, so that the groups were a spread out from one another. The leader then explained to the students that they were going to have to find their church group...in the dark!! They cut the light and chaos broke out! It was so dark you could not see your hand in front of your face! The students were screaming! But finally they began to calm down and work to find their group. Once some of our students found each other they began chanting "Shelbyvile!" so that all the other students could find them. Finally all the groups were together.The rec leader then had them lock arms (our symbol of locked shields for the week) and not only lock with just their group, but lock with the two other church groups. So those of us leaders that were out their are standing on this hill and we start shining the flash lights we had on the students so we could see them and it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen! 100+ students standing arms locked, the length of the entire soccer field. Of course we were unable to get the lights to come back on, totally a God thing! As we stood there in the pitch black darkness the students began to sing! God spoke to my heart at that moment that this was a picture of how we look when we as the body unite with one another and stand against the enemy! The only words I can use to describe it are terrifyingly beautiful. I cannot imagine the fear that must have run through the enemy as he heard those students sing out the the living God!

So Sunday night the students shared all of this and more with the rest of the church. And God is using it in amazing ways! These students have been texting one another every morning to remind one another to get up and put on the armor of God and sharing with one another what God has spoken into their lives through their time with Him that morning! It is so amazing that a tool, like text messaging, that Satan uses so frequently to stir up trouble and worldly behavior has been the fuel that is keeping these students on fire! This fire also spread to the church! We woke up late yesterday morning and a few mins after I got up my mom called the house and said that one of the staff guys was trying to get in touch with Zeke to lead worship because we were going to have another service that night because of all that God was doing they just felt that we needed to meet again and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's moving. So Zeke lead and the pastor spoke on revival. Revival for us as soldiers in a battle. There will be times when we are victorious, but shaken, wounded and hurting. In these times we look to God and hide in his shelter. We draw close to Him so that He can refresh us and renew our spirit!

I am sorry this is so long, but I really felt like I needed to share this with you all! Please pray for our students and the whole church that we would continue to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's movement! Also please pray for me and the older girls (11th, 12th, and college girls) we are starting a Bible study tonight! Pray that God would use this study however He desires! That He would speak to the lives of all of us in the Bible study!

If there is anything I can pray for you about please let me know!

This video is of pictures from the week at camp!
video

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Last Blog Before Camp 09

So many things are running through my head right now! I cannot even begin to explain! Tomorrow we will head down to Piscah, Alabama with a group of about 100 students for camp! We are praying that God would move in a way that only He can! But as is always the case when God gets ready to do something BIG, the enemy tries to attack! It has started already!
However, it is a total God thing that I finally got my hands on a copy of The Power of a Praying Wife today so I can read the chapters as I go through this 30 day focus of praying for my husband with a group of ladies on facebook - random I know to those of you not involved, but amazing that God is so creative and does not limit Himself in the avenues He uses to challenge and encourage His people! My copy of the book is somewhere in our storage unit, and since the whole focus is to pray for my husband not to frustrate him by having him help me dig through our storage unit in search of one book, I figured it would be better to get the book from our church library! :) Anyway, today the chapter we are reading is about the mind of our husbands, and how we as wives can pray for God to protect and bring clarity to the minds of our husbands. I so needed to read this today! Satan is trying to get any foothold he can in our minds and lives as we head out for camp. My husband is leading worship for this camp and it is no coincidence that satan would try to attack through his thoughts on the night before we head out!

Reading this chapter, the first thing that hit me was this quote "If he and I were one, then an assault on his mind was an assault on me as well," (p81). If Satan is trying to gain a foothold by attacking my husband and discouraging him in an area of life, then Satan is also attacking me! I never truly thought about it this way, but it is so true! How many times has someting happened to our husband and we take it as a personal offense to us? This is because we are one! The Bible teaches us this! "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh, " Genesis 2:24.

Because of this truth, I have a responsibility to react when I see an attack coming upon my husband! I am talking about spritual attacks, not physical- in case you didn't catch that! :) If I see an area in my life where Satan has a foothold, I would be ignorant to just leave that area of my life alone and do nothing to guard it! The same applies to me seeing these areas in the life of my husband! His life is my life. I would be ignorant to let Satan gain a foothold in the life of my husband because I decided to do nothing even though I saw it happening! How foolish! So what can I do when this happens? I can pray!

I am learning that praying God's word is so powerful and effective that words cannot even describe it! God's word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, andof joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart," Hebrews 4:12. As I went through the study Living Free this past spring, I learned that praying God's Word shifts all the focus of my prayers to God! So many times my prayers are so focused on me and have no authority behind them because of this. When I use scripture in prayer the authority of scripture is there and the weight of my prayers is placed on God.

So here are some scriptures mentioned from this chapter that I prayed over my husband and a few more. Sorry I didn't type out the whole verse, but I really need to get to bed! :)
Here they are:
Romans 8:6
Ephesians 6:10,11,18
2 Timothy 1:7
Philippians 4:8
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Romans 12:2
There are many more, but these are just some that stuck out to me!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

So a lot has happened since I last blogged. One of the most exciting things was that Zeke and I got to go to a Hillsong United Concert with some friends here in Tennessee. If you have never listened to Hillsong or Hillsong United, You need to start NOW!!!
I had heard them before, had actually been listening to pretty much nothing but their "This Is Our God" CD for the last few months! It is amazing! The week before the concert their newest Hillsong United CD came out and we bought it on iTunes and had been listening to it the whole week.
There are so many amazing songs on these CDs and just when I think I have gotten all out of the CD that I can possibly get God speaks to me through something else in these songs!
So we were super excited about going to this concert just to catch a glimpse of how they view worship - in person this time, not from the CD. It was absolutely amazing! I am still a little overwhelmed thinking about it! God showed up in such an amazing way and we got to get in on it! With hundreds of people singing together to God and worship leaders who flew thousands of miles just to lead us before the throne of Christ. They shared with us that when they first began traveling to lead worship at events like this, they did not charge for the event. However this did not work out well, because they had people coming from 14 hours away that waited in line and then were not able to get into the concert because there was no more room for them in the venue! So they decided that they would charge the lowest ticket price at the given venue and all of that money would go back into their ministry and help them travel to places like Africa where people would not be able to afford an event like this.For those of you that don't know this group, Hillsong United, is the worship team for the student ministry @ Hillsong Church in Austrailia. So no one on the stage got any money out of the experience. It was amazing!

So all that information to get to this point. One thing God has really been speaking to me about over the last week is worship. So many times we allow ourselves to be distracted from worshiping because of the smallest things! When we are in group settings we focus on the people around us, what they are doing, what ehy are thinking, who they are looking at, etc. Yet even when we are alone distractions creep in as we seek to worship our heavenly father! We also allow life's circumstances to dictate whether or not we truly worship Him. the funny thing to me is that the Bible teaches us that God never changes! He is constant! Hebrews 13:8 says "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." There is an amzing song by Hillsong called "The Desert Song" The bridge of the song says this " All of my life, In every season, You are still God, I have a reason to worship." The point is, those of us that are Christians know the goodness of God! We know Him well enough to know that there is never anything that can come into our lives that does not give us a reason to worship. He gave to us something that no one else ever could! Life!! There will always be something to distract us, Satan will always try to convince us that God is not worthy of our worship, but we know better! Something to ponder as we live life with Him!

The next exciting thing it that we are heading to camp on Monday!! I am so excited! I have not been to camp in 3 years!! I have missd it so much! :) Please pray for us as we go! We will be in Alabama for the week (enough reason to pray already! LOL). There will be about a hundred of us total going down for the week! Please pray that God would move in a mighty way! That leaders and students would surrender to God and His work in their lives! That what God does this next week would flow over into the church families of the students! That they would catcha glimpse of God's glory as He shows up at camp next week! I am so excited about what God is going to do! I know He is going to move in an amazing way!

I guess I should stop for now cause this is pretty long! :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Weeds and Sin


Take a look at those weeds! That is insane! I cannot believe how many there are in this pile!

I was weeding in our front yard today - something I have not done since I was little - and God showed me an amazing picture of how these weeds are like sin.

When I started weeding, I did not realize how many weeds there were. It was to the point that you could not tell the difference between what was a weed and what was the actually plant. I began pulling the weeds off of the first plant and when I was finished, I was amazed. The plant with the weed looked huge and full. The leaves of the weed were
actually very nice, they didn't look like weeds. For someone who had not seen the plant before they would probably never know that the weeds were absolutely covering this plant. This showed me this first picture of sin. We don't always see sin the way we should. Sometimes we let things into our lives that create strongholds and before we know it we can't tell what is us and what is the weed anymore.

The second picture of sin I saw was that when we try to get rid of this sin, the weeds, in our lives sometimes we treat the symptom not the real issue at the heart level. As I was pulling these weeds, I had to dig in deep to make sure I got to the roots. Some of them, I just treated the symptom, because I only pulled the leaf or stem off. Those weeds will grow back again soon - I know it! But there were others that I PULLED! One or two that I pulled as hard as possible and got all of them up, those will not come back so quickly because I got to the roots. In our lives we have to deal with the real issue when we are convicted of sin. It
is all about our relationship with God. Is our heart focused on Him and seeking after Him?

The third thing I saw was a picture of how God reveals to us that there is sin in our lives and constantly conforms us into His image. After I got the majority of the weeds pulled and moved away from the bushes, I looked back again and realized taht there were still more weeds to pull! This is how it is in our lives. God continues to reveal areas of our lives that do not look like Him so that we are changed and conformed into His image.

Lastly , just as a visual picture of all this information I have to post these two pictures. One is of the bushes with the weeds, and the other is the bushes after the weeds were pulled! Amazing the difference! An encouragement to me to allow God to continue to point out the things in my life
that don't look like Him and use that to conform me to His image!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Can't Sleep

So it is 3am Vegas time and I cannot sleep! I have tossed and turned up until this point and finally decided to just give in and sit up for a little while! I decided that there is no better time than early on a sleepless morning to blog!
So this week is going to be a little crazy! Tomorrow, Zeke and a few of the guys from Hope are going to pack our trailer (I guess that is actually later on today!). The only furniture that has been in our apartment for the last 2wks is our bed, a desk, and a hope chest! It is so weird to look around and see everything packed up - no matter how many times you move it doesn't ever seem any less strange looking at everything you own in boxes!

As we packed this time we tried to get rid of as much as possible (5x8 trailer going cross country, we just can't take all that we want to!), and hold on to only those things that we absolutely need or are significant enough that we simply cannot part with. Through this process we ended up finding many amazing treasures! I think the best of which were photographs!

If you have been around me for 2 seconds you know that I take pictures of pretty much everything! every event (major or just the daily stuff) and I keep them for forever! (This is the reason that my computer runs so slow most of the time because I have so many photos on it! A nice digital camera is probably the gift my parents most regret giving me for Christmas!) So as we were packing Zeke and I came across so many old photos! Photos taken mainly over the last 8yrs here in Vegas. It is amazing to look back and see all that has happened, simply on a physical spectrum in these last 8 years! Kids that I once babysat every weekend when they were 1-2yrs old are now going into second grade! When I met them, they could not even speak, and now I am sure that some of their parents long for those days again! :) Others who I hung out with all the time have now, like me, grown older and hopefully wiser. Some of the people in these photos are no longer with us, but sitting in the glorious presence of God! And all of this is just the tip of the physical changes that have occurred in the last 8 years!

The spiritual changes are far too vast to even begin to describe! There is a song that says "Could we with ink the ocean fill and were the skies of parchment made, were every stalk on Earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade, to write the love, of God above would drain the ocean dry, nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky." I love that song! GOd has laid it on my heart our entire time here in Vegas! That is what I have experienced! What we all have seen on a day in and day out basis! The great thing is I don't have to leave that behind because I am leaving Vegas! That is what each day in the life of a christian should be! When we are following His unique call on our lives and finding our satisfation in Him, The only one who gives true satisfaction, we will experience this every day!

I have to take this opportunity to absolutely commend my parents! There is no way I would understand this concept without their obedience to follow the call God placed on our life as a family! I was reading in a Bible Study the other day the story of a girl and her parents who were missionaries. The main point of the story was that because of her parents' obedience to God, her faith started out on a different level. She had seen God use her family in incredible ways and because of that her realtionship with God was able to be lived out on a competely different level. This is definitely the case with my family! When we told our family and friends that we were moving to Las Vegas to help start Hope Baptist Church they all thought we were crazy! And yeah, we definitely had to sacrifice being in town for the normal family events we had always been a part of, which was hard! I love my family, but we would have missed out on God moving in some incredible ways if we had stayed behind, and would have been so miserable!

I think back on those times so much! When the definition of family changed in my heart! It was no longer just the people I was related to and spent the first 14 years of my life with. It became the church! The people that I was daily serving and serving alongside of! The people that were in the same situations I was - new community, new schools, new lifestyles, not being able to fly back for every holiday so spending a few together here in Vegas. God knit our hearts together in such a ways that it will never be undone! Only He can do that, and it can only happen when we follow Him in obedience!

Over the last 8 years, there have abslutely been tough times! Times when I remember thinking about how different things would have been if we had not moved, if we had just stayed where we were. But everytime God quickly reminded me how much I would have missed out on! The services in a million different locations, the kids I was allowed to invest in, the friends, the camps, the trips, the long conversations, the holidays, the milstones, the jokes, the cards, the views, the heat, the houses, the dinners, the Bible studies, the classes, the church.

It has been an incredible 8 years, and believe me that is putting it lightly! I am so blessed to have these exeriences with my family in Las Vegas, and I am certain it is not over! It is hard to leave, but that is part of following God where He invites us to be involved! So, Vegas friends this is in no way the last we will see of each other! Never think that! :) We are always just a phone call, text, email, or Facebook message away! We love you all and thank you so much for your part in our lives so far! We look forward expectantly to seeing all that God does in your lives and ours!

:)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

So I have not had the chance to blog in a while, but I just had to tonight! I just got home from a Living Free Bible Study that I am in on Thursday nights and I am honestly just overwhelmed with how incredible and amazing God is!
In the study tonight we were discussing satisfaction and that we can only find satisfaction in God. Through the course of this conversation we got on the topic of how incredibly BIG our God is. One of the points that was brought up was that when situations that arise in our lives appear to be overwhelmingly big, we need to remind ourselves that God is bigger!
I thought about that through the whole study tonight and then on the way home the song "O For a Thousand Tongues To Sing" (David Crowder Version) came on the radio. I have to take a minute right here and say this is one of those songs that rings through my mind for days after I hear it! I love it! It is absolutely amazing! So as I am pulling into the apartment complex it is still on and I am thinking to myself :I have to blog about this song! If for no other reason than to simply share the lyrics with family and friends!" SO I knew I would have to look up the lyrics when I got inside.
So I finally got to a point where I could sit at the computer and look up the lyrics. And once I looked up the lyrics, I wanted to know the history of the song. So I looked that up to! :) And the story just blessed me! Charles Wesley wrote this hymn/poem one year after coming to know Christ. He and his brother were sick and a group of Christians began to care for them. Charles began to read the Bible and God began revealing Himself to Charles. This is when he says he came to know Christ. God began to heal his body and his brother also and the two were so grateful for the healing that they wrote a hymn. Then one year after this event they wrote the song "O, For a Thousand Tongues To Sing," (not its original name) to celebrate their healing and life-change! The song that we know now is only a portion of the original poem. Here it is:

O, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise
The glories of my God and King
The triumphs of His grace

My gracious Master and my God
Assist me to proclaim
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name

So come on and sing out
Let our anthem grow loud
There is one great love Jesus

Jesus, the name that charms our fears
That bids our sorrows cease
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears
‘Tis life and health and peace

He breaks the power of cancelled sin
He sets the prisoners free
His blood can make the foulest clean
His blood availed for me

He speaks and listening to His voice
New life the dead receive
The mournful broken hearts rejoice
The humble poor believe

Glory to God and praise and love
Be ever, ever giv’n
By saints below and saints above
The church in earth and Heav’n

There are so few words
That never grow old
There are so few words
That never grow old
Jesus

The italicized portions are add-ins done by David Crowder.

This song is incredible! I love the words! It is such a reminder of how BIG and GREAT God is in our lives each day! I especially love the chorus added in at the end of the song. How true that there are so few words that we never tire of using! So many words come in and out with fads, but Jesus is not one of those words! The sound of His name never gets old!

I hope this encourages those who read to remember how BIG our God is! No matter what the situation we face, He is bigger!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Extreme Make Over Home Edition

I absolutely love this show! And I absolutely love the family on the show this week!
This family has adopted children from China. Older children with special needs that would not be adopted in many other situations. When Ty asked the mother about why they chose to adopt, she simply said "They needed a place to live." So matter-of-factly! So amazing! Not over complicated, just the simple truth. They needed a place to live, and we have a place.
As they went through the house, Ty noticed a bowl of rice grains sitting on the table. The lady explained to him that in Chinese culture, a full rice bowl is a sign of having all you need, not being in want.
We are only 20 mins in to the show! If you missed this episode you should watch it online! :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Some Verses to Think On!

"You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine."
Psalm 4:7

"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord will keep me safe."
Psalm 4:8

"Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to You and wait expectantly."
Psalm 5:3

A good friend shared these verses with me the other night! I am so glad she did! She shared them because they are verses that God has been using to encourage her and set her focus on him during a time of uncertainty for her and her family. I think that these verses are encouraging no matter what our situation!

I have to go a little more in depth on that last verse! How many times to we pray for God to help or provide for us in certain situations and then leave that time of prayer thinking of all the ways we can make things work and take care of that need in our lives! In this verse David says that he waits expectantly for God to deal with the requests he lays out each morning!
As I read that verse, knowing that tomorrow is Easter, this thought comes to mind:
If David, on the opposite side of the resurrection, waited expectantly for God to handle the issues of his life, how much more should we wait expectantly as we lay our lives before Christ each day?
David had experienced God's victory in battles and knew that God could be trusted. We too have experienced God's faithfulness! We know how He has been faithful in our lives, we see His faithfulness throughout scripture, and we see His faithful work in the lives of other believers around us! Lord help us to always remember that you are the One who created our lives, and because of that You alone know best how to handle each situation that arises in our lives!


"I found Him faithful yesterday.
He will not be unfaithful today!"
Living Free by Beth Moore

We know this to be true from our own experiences in our relationship with God! Look toward Easter remembering that God who was faithful then, has not changed in any way! He is as faithful today as He was 2,000 years ago!

Happy Easter!



Thursday, April 9, 2009

Graffiti Clean-up

So yesterday I was able to go with the Student Ministry @ Hope to do graffiti clean-up. The students had already done some graffiti clean-up in the area the previous day and the goal was to go back and get the rest done.

As we were painting, I kept thinking about the whole situation and how great an analogy could be drawn to our lives as Christians and graffiti clean-up. So here goes...

When we first come to Christ confessing that our way is wrong and that His way is the only way and we trust Him as our Savior He forgives us and chooses to remember our sin no more! The picture in my mind now is the wall that we painted ( I wish I had pictures to show you - didn't have my camera). Before it was covered in graffiti, for this analogy - sin, but then after we painted it it was clean you could not even see the old graffiti underneath. Now please understand this is not a perfect analogy. God has the power to completely get rid of our sin. It is GONE, unlike the graffiti, which is still there just covered by a layer of paint. However, the picture is the same. The wall is clean of imperfections.

As we were painting the point was brought up that this would probably have graffiti on it again within a short amount of time. This is true, and this also parallels our lives so perfectly! After we become a Christian, there will still be times, many times that we mess up and sin. That is just like us painting graffiti all over a wall that God has cleaned for us.

Our God is patient and loving and just and if we confess the sin in our life to Him, He will clean the graffiti off again. In NO WAY does this give us the right to simply do whatever we want because we have this promise of forgiveness! For the believer, this is never the desire! The desire is to become more and more like Christ.

"So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace...But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them so not belong to him at all.)" Romans 8:6, 9

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Psalm 105:19

So the other night I was at the House of Blues - because you all know that I frequent the House of Blues @ Mandalay Bay, especially @ 10pm! Anyway, I was there to watch MP&Co. play (their second time playing there and they did an amazing job!) It was one of those times when I really wasn't sure if I should go because it was so late at night and I had to get up early for school the next morning, so I knew I needed to go but was not looking forward to being up late and getting up early.
So I ended up going, of course, and ate dinner there with some friends because I had been to Bible Study right before and had not eaten dinner yet. So we get our food eat and get the bill and we are absolutely floored by the price! For 5 meals out bill was $111.00! INSANE!! So as we are sitting and trying to figure out all of the craziness with our bill, a friend of mine came over to day hi! It was Brea Gotthardt. She had come this time because Paul, her husband, had come to hear the guys the last time they were at House of Blues and told her that she had to come this time. And she was so excited! We were talking and I began sharing with her about all that God was doing in mine and Zeke's life with our big move coming up and then all that God was doing in my family because of my dad's diagnoses of cancer. She stood there and listened to my story and then she said that she was so excited for Zeke and I and all that God was doing and going to do in our lives. She shared with me that she thought it was so great because there will be others watching me and my family as we handle each and every part of this situation that God has blessed us with. And who knows who will grow closer to God or come to know God through watching us handle this situation. She then proceeded to give me homework! :) She wrote down Psalm 105 on a napkin (that by the way totally had someone's gum in it!) and told me to read through this chapter and that I was looking for a verse that told about the life of Joseph. So I took the napkin and put it in my purse (after I tore off the part with the gum in it!) and when I got home I pulled it out and read through Psalm 105. As I read through, the chapter I came to verse 19, and it says "Until the time came to fulfill Joseph's dream, the Lord tested his character." God spoke so clearly to me through that verse and the conversation with Brea that first of all God has brought this into the life of my family. He knows exactly what is going on and it never surprised Him in the least! And secondly that God has a purpose for this situation. There is something that He desires to accomplish in me and/or through me by using this. I remember talking about trials in our James Bible Study this past Fall and one of the things that was brought up was that it is much easier to handle trials that come into our lives when we realize that there is a purpose for them! I guess that is where I am right now! I realize that there is a reason for all of this and I just need to keep seeking after God with all my heart. When we seek Him, He will most certainly be found! :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

First Blog!

Ok, so I am giving in! I have wanted to do this for a while, but just haven't really taken the time. I figure that this is a good time to start. There is so much going on right now that it will help to put my thoughts down on a blog!
So in about 5 weeks, Zeke and I will be moving to Tennessee. This has been the plan for a while now and it is so crazy to think that the time is almost here to move! It seems like my family and I just moved here! God has done so many amazing things in my life and in the life of my family over the last 8 years! I have been so blessed to be a part of God's work here in Las Vegas and ultimately all over the world.
However, it is now time for a new chapter (so cliche, but I really cannot think of another word!). I am so excited about all that God has in store for Zeke and I - especially for this summer. We are so looking forward to spending the summer in Tennessee with my family. God is really placing Shelbyville on our hearts, something I never really thought about until the last few months. :)
I think it has a lot to do with the news we received about my dad a couple weeks ago. My dad had been feeling bad for a while and the doctors thought he had diverticulitis so they scheduled him for a colonoscopy. When they went in to do the colonoscopy, they were unable to finish because they found a tumor in his lower colon. They did a CAT Scan and found that the cancer had not spread anywhere else. He then met with an oncologist who went over what treatment would look like for this cancer. The oncologist said that he needed to have a PET Scan to double check that the cancer had not spread to any other part of his body. The results came back and the cancer has not spread anywhere else! We are so thankful for that! As of right now my dad will have to go through chemo and radiation, with a possible extra chemo treatment. The treatment will last 6 weeks for 5 days a week.
Through all of this my family and I know that God has a purpose for it all! Honestly when I first heard about it, my prayer was that God would simply remove it! That He would supernaturally take the tumor out of my dad's body and that when he went back for the next scan it would miraculously be gone! However, that was not the case! But I know that God has a reason to take us through this. At the same time I found out about everything gong on with my dad, God was revealing so much to me through the Study Anointed, Transformed, and Redeemed. This study is about the life of David, the first week of this study is all about how God specifically chose David. That He established David as the King of Israel. The word established means that he was set firmly in place. The point is that God has established us in the very places we are right now! THe things that happen in our lives never surprised God! He set us firmly in place where we are! There is something He desires to show us through our situation, or someone He desires to reach through our situation.
I hope that this encourages those of you reading!
:)