Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gag a maggot!

Okay, I don't even know how that little phrase resurfaced in our house, but I revived it one evening! Steve and I were sitting around talking about the conversation I had with the babysitter that day. You know how you think you are still young until you talk to a real young person! Well the age gap was really in my face! To begin with she was not even born when we got married! Then she tells me that she just recently learned that Toby Mac (one of my favorite artist) was in - are you ready for this- DC Talk! I laughed and said yeah that's where he started. I told her about the open air concert they did in our small town my 1st or 2nd year of college. So of course that was before they made it big! She thought that was cool and then insulted me to the bone! She said yeah and the Newsboys are another old group!!!! Can you believe that! The Newsboys are not an old group - at least not in my book. Now Keith Green, Larry Norman, Dallas Holmes,Striper or even Amy Grant I could understand that comment. But not the Newsboys and especially when compared with DC Talk!

Well, I digress, we were talking about gagging a maggot. As we talk we look up several of these "old" groups on iTunes. There was one in particular that my boyfriend (stay calm Shannon, it is only a reference here)at the time loved. Well, I could not stand the guy's voice. I called him Elmer Fud! Steve had never heard him so we pull him up on iTunes and play several seconds of some songs and after about the 3rd or 4th song this old saying just jumped out of my mouth! We both got a good laugh that old music could conger up old sayings so easily. I guess it is like groovy and 70's music - which by the way is old!!!! Heehee!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I love Sunday!

Sunday has become my favorite day. I love our church and our pastors. I love praise and worship and then just listening to these men preach! Every sermon seems to be just tailor made for me. Today was no exception. Kyle preached on how powerful God is and that He still heals. He talked about how God is our everything. God is my everything. He is the giver of all that is good in my life. How grateful I am. He had an alter call and prayed for people while annoiting with oil. There were some really powerful prayers prayed that are not heard in many churches anymore. I wanted to jump up and down shouting my love for my God! I thought about the highland people jumping up and down shouting thier praises to God in the "Underground Reality: Vietnam" video I posted about a few days ago! I can not tell you how badly I want to be involved in that type of worship. I have experienced similar praise before, but it has been so long. It almost feels like not having a drink of water in years! God is so good to us, why do we act so stiff? It reminds me of an apathetic, spoiled child that has too much. I so do not want to be that way. I want to express my joy and thanksgiving. I want to worship, praise and dance like David! God is doing a mighty work - watch out!

17 years and counting with the love of my life!

Today was our 17th anniversary! I can't believe it has been seventeen years since we walked the aisle. We were so young and clueless as to what it took to make it as a couple - a happy couple. Well, life has a way of teaching you the lessons doesn't it? We have been through many ups and downs in the last 17 years, but I must say we are a happier, stronger couple at this point. We have gained wisdom and patience. I think it is so cool to know we love each other more now than on that exciting day in 1991! God has truly blessed me with a wonderful Godly man. He is my earthly rock and right hand. And he gave up the debate tonight to take me to dinner and the movies!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pray for China

That was our theme during our Voice of the Martyr's (VOM) trip. You can find out more about the theme here. I don't even know how to begin to tell you about all that God did during those few short days. God started on me several weeks before the trip. He began dealing with me about complacency and how I as a "good Christian girl" I seem to be too afraid or lazy to fulfill the Great Commission. The list of excuses is a mile high and oh how it must reek in His presence. He also began to remind me that we fight a spiritual fight with a very real and powerful Satan. Fortunately, He is much more powerful than Satan, but we have to tap into His power through the Holy Spirit. I was also struggling with the fact that I have my kids in public school when most of my friends have theirs in either private school or home school them.

Well, fast forward to our trip. We leave the church around 1:30 after a quick prayer. We travel and visit getting to know each other better. When we go through the toll booths, we have exact change, but we decide to actually go through the booth with an attendant and tell them to "Pray for China"! We stop to eat and tell our waiter a little about our trip, I give him my prayer bracelet and we find out he is in college to be a missionary! His friend comes and asks for a bracelet too!

I get up early the next morning to read my bible (really trying to read everyday!). I get ready and also take a walk. I am so excited I can't see straight. I have wanted to make this trip for about 10 years! I walk and pray and sing and just enjoy God's presence, His sunrise and the exercise.

First we go to the main office for a tour. It is so fascinating to see. An Eagle Scout made a room into a replica of an underground church meeting room. There are pictures of persecuted Christians and their stories everywhere. We receive a lot of material and ask question and buy material in the book store. Then we arrive go to the warehouse and find out that we will be working on prayer bands for China. We begin taping the little grey bracelets to cards to be stuffed in envelopes and labeled and mailed. We tape and tape and tape then we stuff and stuff and stuff....! We lose a lot of steam after lunch. There are 9 of us and about 4 other volunteers that we are getting to know. We break for dinner and decide to come back to the warehouse and work late. When we return the room is full of local volunteers! This is so exciting it re energized us and we worked quickly again. We talk to so many new people and start meeting staff that work in the main office. We soon realize that we have come at a very unique time. There is such a demand for the 750,00 bracelets that it is taking all hands on deck to get them out before the Olympics. Staff is pouring in to help. We are able to sit and talk to these incredible people for hours. And talk we do. They are probably so glad we are gone!

I can't post everything we talked about because so much of it is sensitive! But I will say that God put each of us at strategic places. He seemed to meet our needs so specifically and individually. I was blessed to sit by some incredible people. God really opened my eyes to how complacent we really are. Here I sit so comfortable and happy. I have no threat to my Christianity except my own mind. There is no danger in me telling other people about my God or what He has done for me and I shy away so many many times! We begin hearing story after story of people that risk everything to go to a church meeting or endure more torture to tell the persecutor that God loves them too! That evening I walk and cry as I pray.

The next morning I miss the sunrise but walk and pray and praise God. We then go to devotion with the VOM staff. It is incredible. I read the poem I posted last week. Then we pray for several highlighted persecuted Christians. I want to get on the floor and lay prone and wail and pray! The presence of the Lord is so strong it is palpable! Then we listen to Tom White, the President of VOM, talk about evil, and modern day safe houses and numerous other things. I feel so humbled, guilty and motivated! Then we go tape, stuff, and label. And we get another glorious day with the staff. We again work late.

The last morning I walk and pray. We work and dread leaving that afternoon. We had a great ride home though. We handed out more prayer bands and told everyone we saw to "PRAY FOR CHINA". (We fully expect there to be revival among OK toll booth workers!) We laughed and talked about all God had done and sang praise songs. Our favorite song came off a DVD we watched featuring 8 kids that smuggled bibles into Vietnam. When they went to deliver the bibles to a very remote village, the people were gathered together praising God at the top of their voices singing, "Alleluia Amen! Alleluia Amen! Alleluia Amen! Alleluia Amen!" It was the most incredible worship service I have ever seen and I long to be a part of that kind of worship! You can check out the video here.

Keep praying because God is not done yet!!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

God knows EVERYTHING!!!!

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This adorable face is the one God blessed us with one year ago on the 8th. If I had had my way, I would have been sucessful in talking God out of this great blessing. I am ashamed now that I ever thought I couldn't handle such a priveledge as raising a third child. Oh, I had my reasons and I lined them all up before God. But you know, God looked beyond my immediate crisis and smiled knowingly and sent this little guy into our lives. Now, we all smile when this little one looks at us. It is so great that God knows more than us! If only we could get our little ideas out of the way and trust God! (I am working on this with great determination!) So,Thank you God, for sending such a wonderful blessing our way. I praise you for the joy you have added to our lives in such abundance. I pray we will be faithful to raise him for your service. Grant us wisdom for his sake. Watch over him and keep him close to you and your protection. Give him a deep desire and longing for you all his life. Guide his steps and guard his heart. Forgive me for my doubt. Amen.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wow and Wow!!!

I am currently in OK serving at the Voice of the Martyrs! I am exhausted and my spirit is so full I can't even begin to tell you! I won't post much tonight, but have a poem that I read in devotion today. God has so been dealing with my heart on this subject and I was really struck today as I read. Maybe it will speak to you as well.

I Stand by the Door
by: Samuel Shoemaker

I stand by the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world-
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There's no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it...
So I stand by the door.